PSA: Granting iPhone camera permissions allows apps to secretly take pictures and videos without you knowing

There’s been some buzz this week about a potential privacy issue with apps that you’ve granted access to your iPhone’s camera. They can take pictures and videos without you knowing. This is a privacy loophole discovered by security researcher Felix Krause.

You can read Krause’s technical paper here. Motherboard broke the story which you can read here.

Whenever you give iPhone apps permission to access your camera, the app can surreptitiously take pictures and videos of you as long as the app is in the foreground, a security researcher warned on Wednesday.

​What this means is that even if you don’t see the camera “open” in the form of an on-screen viewfinder, an app can still take photos and videos. It is unknown how many apps currently do this, but Krause created a test app as a proof-of-concept.

Again, this is not a bug or something you should be too worried about. But it’s good to be aware of how much power you’re giving apps when you grant them access to your iPhone’s cameras.

After reading this, I went into my iPhone’s Privacy settings to see what apps I’d granted access to my camera. It turns out I’ve only granted access to 3 which are apps I trust. With this information in mind, you may want to do the same. You’ll want to remove access to apps that don’t need access to your camera or that you don’t trust.

Originally published at ldstephens.net on October 27, 2017.

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