Smile! iPhone Camera Revealed to Be Capable of Spying on Owners

  • Smile! iPhone Camera Revealed to Be Capable of Spying on Owners

Smile! iPhone Camera Revealed to Be Capable of Spying on Owners

Security researcher Felix Krause discussed the potential privacy violation in a blog post investigating Apple's iOS 11 privacy settings, and found that Apple's handling of permissions concerning camera access allows for potential abuse from apps looking to collect more data about users without their consent or knowledge.

After receiving permission to use the camera for shooting pictures, the app continues to take snapshots of the user who suspects nothing about foreign surveillance.

To demonstrate this vulnerability, Felix Krause wrote an app that simulates a conventional social network.

In his opinion, by using an iPhone camera in this way, mobile applications can check a user's facial expression or capture the surrounding environment and people. You could also revoke camera access for apps, but that will limit the functionality of many applications.

You can see full details about this proof of concept and what could possibly be done with the camera on the iPhone if an app has access to it at the link below. It would also be able to immediately upload the photos and/or videos it has taken. The developer told Motherboard that his project doesn't upload the photos anywhere or store them in your Camera Roll, but other apps certainly could.

The developer argues that the only way to protect yourself is the use of stickers covering the camera lens.

Ultimately though, restricting apps in a bid to secure one's privacy would make numerous apps much slower to use, as your permission would now be required, and the user would have to do certain things manually like copy-pasting pictures to new profiles. He suggested that Apple could find a way to bring in a system of temporary permissions to stop any malicious apps interfering with users cameras, or show an icon on the status bar indicating that the cameras are active, or introduce an LED light near the front and back camera that would blink every time the camera is in use thereby alerting the users that they are being recorded. You'll need to take the photo using your preferred camera app, and then return to your camera-restricted app to import it.