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Do You Know iPhone Apps Can Spy on You with Basic Camera Permissions?

by Ava Smith Marketer

In a demonstration app published on GitHub, a developer working for Google warned that iPhone apps can spy on you secretly with basic camera permissions without your knowledge. If users grant an app permission to access camera functionality, the app can take pictures & videos of you anytime using your front & back camera as long as it's running in the foreground. 

Felix Krauss, who is the founder of Fastlane, a developer toolset that Google acquired in 2017 explains that when any user gives permission to use the camera, he/she is also giving permission to use their phone’s camera whenever the app wants. Let’s find out more about this iOS bug and what iPhone App Developers are saying. 

Know What iPhone Apps with Camera Access Can Do

Most of the mobile apps regularly ask for permission to the camera in iOS, which allow users to upload photos from their camera gallery or even take a picture without leaving the app. However, not many of us are aware of the things that an app with camera access can do. 

  • Use both the front as well as the back camera
  • Record any time when app is running in foreground
  • Click pictures or take videos without informing
  • Immediately post the pictures/videos it takes 
  • Detect facial expressions running real-time face recognition 

Is Your iPhone App Taking Pictures Too? Find Out

To justify the statement, Krause developed a demo app called watch.a user, a fake social networking app that can track users. As per the explanation that was given by him, users can see pictures of themselves that were clicked a few seconds ago when they were browsing through the feed. 

Using a vision framework in iOS 11, it can even allow the developer to map user’s face & track their facial expressions & features. Kraus’s mapping software also displayed a corresponding emoji as future proof of concept.
 
The developer says one can prevent this from happening using camera covers to place over the lenses of their phone cameras. Another option is to revoke the camera access on the apps that ask for camera permission to avoid misuse of your personal pictures and use Apple’s built-in camera application to click any pictures. 

To find out the apps with camera access, go to settings in your iOS phone and tap privacy where you will see Photos & Camera. Apps with such access will be listed under this section, now change the settings with toggles or choose “Never” allow access option. 

Kraus’s project is a good reminder to double check the apps that you grant access to the camera are trustworthy or not. It is essential that all the iPhone App Development team focus on this Apple security hole while developing the next iOS apps for iPhones.

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About Ava Smith Freshman   Marketer

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Joined APSense since, November 9th, 2017, From setembro, Mozambique.

Created on Feb 14th 2018 04:47. Viewed 385 times.

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