14-year-old 'Fortnite' player tried to warn Apple about Group FaceTime bug a week before it went viral

The report stated that Grant discovered the problem while trying to set up a group FaceTime call with his friends for Fortnite.

  • Published: January 30, 2019 10:58 AM IST
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Image Credit - Apple

The recent FaceTime bug that was discovered in the popular video calling platform by Apple has caused concerns among the people who depended on the service. For context, the bug allowed anyone to eavesdrop on the audio of the caller even before the call has started. As reported previously, the bug allows any FaceTime user to initiate a group call with the caller and themselves and then allows the user to even accept the call. Once the user accepts the call, they can hear whatever the other end is saying without even accepting the call. As a result, the company took down the group FaceTime feature to fix the problem.

The problem caught the attention of the company about two days back, however, a new report indicates that a 14-year-old teenager from Arizona discovered the problem “more than a week” back. According to the report by Engadget, Michele Thompson, the mother of the kid “spent more than a week trying to contact” the company but did not receive any response. The tweets about Michele trying to report the problem were initially discovered by the Wall Street Journal and they indicated that she tried to report the problem on January 21. The report stated that Grant discovered the problem while trying to set up a group FaceTime call with his friends for Fortnite.

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Michele took to Twitter as well as Facebook to report the issue. In addition to social media, the report claims that she called and sent a fax to the company to draw their attention. During the process of reporting the problem, Michele discovered that they needed an Apple developer account to report the bug and managed “to communicate” with the security team at Apple with the help of email.

The report also added that Grant, the kid who discovered the issue “wanted an ‘iPhone X, a MacBook and a new pair of AirPods,’ for the discovery”. After contacting the Security team, both Grant and Michele “didn’t feel” that the company took the problem seriously until the issue got attention on social media.

As the company is trying to fix the problem (via 9to5Mac), a lawyer has filed a lawsuit in Huston claiming that the bug was “a significant violation of privacy”. The lawyer claimed that he was eavesdropped with the help of the bug “while taking a sworn testimony during a client deposition”. As part of the lawsuit, Attorney Larry Williams II is asking the company for “punitive damages on claims of product liability” including negligence, misrepresentation, and warranty breach. The report added that this is not likely to be the only lawsuit that the company faces regarding the bug.

  • Published Date: January 30, 2019 10:58 AM IST