A newly discovered bug appears to show that the Facebook app for iPhone is accessing users' rear-facing camera while they're scrolling through their newsfeed.
The bug was first noticed by privacy-minded Twitter users earlier this week. Here's what it looks like in action:
—Joshua Maddux (@JoshuaMaddux) November 10, 2019
A Facebook spokesperson did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment on the issue.
Business Insider confirmed that the bug is reproducible with version 246.0 of the Facebook app on an iPhone running iOS 13.2.2. It's seemingly triggered when a user clicks on an ad and then rapidly clicks away, or opens a different users' profile picture and rapidly swipes down.
It's not clear whether the rear-facing camera is always on when users open the Facebook app or if the bug is triggering a shortcut to quickly open the camera. The Facebook app opens the front-facing camera when users tap the “Go Live” button, and opens the rear-facing camera if users navigate to their stories page and then click the camera icon — this screen is more than one step away from the newsfeed.
While it's likely a bug, the issue raises questions regarding Facebook users' privacy, especially since there's no obvious notification that the Facebook app is accessing the rear-facing camera when it appears.