Apple’s iOS 14 beta has been out in various forms for around a month now and one of its new privacy features includes an indicator that tells users when their camera is being used.
You’d expect apps like Instagram to be using your camera and thus cause the indicator to appear. But as some people found out, there is a bug that causes the indicator to appear even when the camera isn’t being used.
That bug caused some people to wonder whether Instagram was being sneaky. You can understand why a company owned by Facebook might want to see what’s happening around you, but according to Instagram, this is more bug than foul play. In an email to The Verge, an Instagram spokesperson said:
“We only access your camera when you tell us to — for example, when you swipe from Feed to Camera. We found and are fixing a bug in iOS 14 Beta that mistakenly indicates that some people are using the camera when they aren’t,” the spokesperson said. “We do not access your camera in those instances, and no content is recorded.”
It isn’t clear why iOS 14 thought Instagram was accessing the camera or what the app was doing to trigger the alert. We’re unlikely to find out, too, but given Facebook’s history it’s easy to see why people are uneasy about all this.
Apple is set to make iOS 14 available to the public in September following weeks of beta testing.
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