New York state attorney general Letitia James and New York governor Andrew Cuomo have launched an official investigation into Apple’s slow response to its recent FaceTime bug. The bug, which was acknowledged publicly on Monday, allowed callers to remotely access audio and video from the device of the person they are calling, even if the recipient hadn’t answered yet.
New evidence shows Apple was made aware of the breach in privacy almost a week before it took steps to disable the bug, prompting alarm from many citizens and politicians. Two days before the investigation was announced, governor Cuomo also issued a consumer alert, urging New Yorkers to disable FaceTime until the privacy breach was resolved. Apple has since begun actions eliminate the bug.
“New Yorkers deserve to know that their phones are safe and cannot be used against them,” governor Cuomo said. “In the wake of this egregious bug that put the privacy of New Yorkers at risk, I am calling on the attorney general to investigate this serious consumer rights issue. We need a full accounting of the facts to confirm businesses are abiding by New York consumer protection laws and to help make sure this type of privacy breach does not happen again.”
“New Yorkers shouldn’t have to choose between their private communications and their privacy rights,” said attorney general Letitia James. “This FaceTime breach is a serious threat to the security and privacy of the millions of New Yorkers who have put their trust in Apple and its products over the years. My office will be conducting a thorough investigation into Apple’s response to the situation and will evaluate the company’s actions in relation to the laws set forth by the state of New York. We must use every tool at our disposal to ensure that consumers are always protected.”