Apple Has Completely Mishandled Their Response To The FaceTime Bug

We are now approaching the end of the second week of the FaceTime bug which is a bug that allows people to listen in on conversations without user interaction or knowledge. Which of course is a big, big deal. This is easily the biggest and most serious bug that Apple has had to deal with. At least since the Root access bug. At least in that situation, Apple owned responsibility quickly and pushed out a software update to address the problem in under 24 hours. But with the FaceTime bug, all Apple has done is disable the Group FaceTime feature from their end and given vague promises of when this will be fixed. First it was going to be last week, then at the end of last week it was going to be this week. In the meantime, Apple has been sued, and then sued again. New York State is investigating the bug, and the US Congress is asking some very pointed questions about the bug and how Apple handled it. Not to mention that Apple didn’t respond to the teenager who found the bug, and then thanked them after his discovery went viral when his parents went to the media due to the fact that Apple didn’t respond to them. It also didn’t help Apple when news of them sitting on the bug until it went public surfaced:

Clearly this all points to one thing. Apple is mishandling their response to this bug. Badly. This is a company that’s approaching a market cap of a trillion US dollars. But something like this seems to throw them off kilter easily which is quite shocking. After all, with the root access bug they proved that they could take a problem and fix it quickly. So why isn’t that happening here? Perhaps the bug is more complex to fix? Perhaps they’re taking extra time to make the fix perfect? Who knows? Apple is not saying and that is part of the problem. Two public statements about the biggest bug that Apple has had to deal with with vague timelines to a resolution is no longer going to cut it. Especially since they took Group FaceTime which is a major feature that they bragged about less than year ago completely offline to mitigate the threat that this bug causes. The optics of having that feature offline for almost 2 weeks cannot be good.

Here’s the bottom line. Apple really needs to be a hell of a lot more transparent here because this is doing great damage to their reputation. So far they haven’t done so, and this crisis has now reached the point that even if they release a fix for the FaceTime bug today, it will do little to change the view that Apple has completely botched their response to this issue. If I were Tim Cook, I’d put all my cards on the table right now as to how and when this will be fixed. Plus I would outline in detail why this will not happen again. I would be 100% transparent and be open to answering questions from anyone on this. If Apple wants to regain the trust of their users, that is the only way it will happen.

UPDATE: The fix is coming today for iOS in the form of iOS 12.1.4. Not that it helps to fix their reputation. But it is a start I suppose.

One Response to “Apple Has Completely Mishandled Their Response To The FaceTime Bug”

  1. […] where you could use FaceTime to eavesdrop on others, and which left Apple with egg on their face because of the way it was handled, Apple has a similar vulnerability on its hands. In short, Apple has had to turn off the Walkie […]

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