Instagram claims bug triggered iOS 14 camera notifications when not in use

Instagram has become the latest app to be affected by the additional notifications offered in iOS 14, with an errant activation of the camera and microphone indicator while not actively using the features explained away by the company as a bug.

Apple’s privacy-related changes in iOS 14 have caused trouble for many apps already, but a new one to suddenly face scrutiny is Instagram. The Facebook-owned image service was caught by users of the beta to be seemingly activating the camera and microphone indicators during times when the user was generally browsing the app’s feed, and not actively requiring the use of the camera or microphone.

The green indicator dot and the additional app-identifying element in the Control Panel was caused by a bug that is being fixed, Instagram told The Verge. The indicator could be triggered by a few elements, such as Instagram’s Create Mode or accessing the Camera from the main feed.

“We only access your camera when you tell us to – for example, when you swipe from Feed to Camera,” said Instagram. “We found and are fixing a bug in iOS 14 Beta that mistakenly indicates that some people are using the camera when they aren’t. We do not access your camera in those instances, and no content is recorded.”

The increased privacy protections of iOS 14 have generated news largely based on “Clipboard Snooping,” the practice of an app accessing the device’s clipboard in cases when a user wouldn’t usually expect such access to take place. Apps including TikTok and Reddit were caught snooping via the new notifications, and have asserted fixes and changes would be made in the near future.

In the case of LinkedIn, its clipboard snooping was allegedly tied to a bug in its software, according to an engineer on July 3. By July 11, a lawsuit was filed against LinkedIn for allegedly reading clipboard data, one which is also seeking class-action status.

__Posted on
August 2, 2020
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Technology