Google Engineer Proves Any App With Camera Permissions Can Spy

Google Engineer Proves Any App With Camera Permissions Can Spy

When you download an app you are normally required to grant it permission to use certain functions or access specific areas of your smartphone.

In his analysis, published this week (25 October), Krause said that giving apps access to the camera will let them take images without your consent, secretly record you and even run cutting edge face tracking features.

GE will also benefit from access to over 13 million programmers who already have experience building iOS apps for the company's mobile platform.

An Austrian developer has managed to expose a security loophole in iOS apps which makes it possible for an iPhone to take pictures and upload them without the user being made aware.

That is not all they can do, he warned.

He has released a proof of concept of this being done on apps where they have access to the camera.

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He demonstrated the loophole in a video uploaded to YouTube.

According to Krause, apps with camera access are capable of taking photos and recording video of you while using the app, uploading photos and videos without your knowledge, or even take advantage of iOS 11's facial recognition tools to read your expression while you're browsing Twitter on the can.

"After a bit of scrolling, you'll suddenly see pictures of yourself, taken a few seconds ago while you scrolled through the feed", he explained.

Of course, your photos may contain more information than you realise, including location data.

However, once the permission has been granted it can access the camera at any time, without ever notifying the user. Like laptops, he said the iPhone should come with an LED indicator to show when the camera is on.

If you want to use your apps to share photos, you can still get away with keeping your camera off-limits if you're able to upload photos from your camera roll.

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