Facebook users are noticing a bug that lets the app access their iPhone's camera while they're scrolling through their newsfeed

FILE - In this May 1, 2018, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote speech at F8, Facebook's developer conference, in San Jose, Calif. Zuckerberg is again appearing before Congress to face questions about his company's massive market power, privacy lapses and tolerance of speech deemed false or hateful. Zuckerberg will testify at a hearing Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee about Facebook's plan to create a global digital currency, which has stirred opposition from lawmakers and regulators in the U.S. and Europe. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)FILE - In this May 1, 2018, file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the keynote speech at F8, Facebook's developer conference, in San Jose, Calif. Zuckerberg is again appearing before Congress to face questions about his company's massive market power, privacy lapses and tolerance of speech deemed false or hateful. Zuckerberg will testify at a hearing Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee about Facebook's plan to create a global digital currency, which has stirred opposition from lawmakers and regulators in the U.S. and Europe. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)Associated Press
  • People are noticing a bug in the Facebook iPhone app that appears to show the app accessing their camera while they're scrolling through their newsfeed.
  • A real-time view from the iPhone's rear-facing camera appears in the Facebook app when a user clicks on an ad and then rapidly clicks on a different app element.
  • While likely a bug, the issue raises questions about privacy, given that the Facebook app can apparently access users' camera even when they haven't opened an in-app camera feature.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

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:

 

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.

facebook camera bugA Business Insider reporter was able to recreate the bug, showing a live feed from the back-facing iPhone camera alongside the Facebook newsfeed.Facebook

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.

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