Security Alert: Android Bug Provides Unwanted Access To Some Apps To Use Your Phone’s Camera

Last year many big names came under the spotlight due to the spying and data breach allegations. Now it seems like several smartphone users have noticed a mysterious glitch while using apps such as WhatsApp, Instagram, and Snapchat.

Many Android users reported that the cameras of their phones automatically turn on in the background while they are looking at photos or watching videos on social media. Notably, the camera doesn’t record anything but still remains in the preview mode.

This issue appears to be a major concern for billions of Android users around the world. The bug was highlighted by several Android users [1,2] on Reddit.

“Lastest releases (stable and beta) of whatsapp has a very big problem, the app access the camera in background, it can pop up front camera on mi9T/mi9T pro, Oppo Reno 2z, Oppo Reno 2, OnePlus 7/7T and others devices,we discovered this problems thanks to pop-up camera devices, but the bug affect all the Android Smartphones, this is a screenshot from a Xiaomi redmi note 6 pro.”

Another Instagram user reported a similar problem:

“Recently, after a new update i suppose, whenever i switch apps from Instagram i get a notification from the security app saying instagram using camera in the background. Same goes for whatsapp and snapchat according to ny friend who got the same device as i have (RN7pro).”

Track Your App Permissions

According to the forum reports, the bug has only affected Android devices, as no such problem has been reported by iOS users. People believe the glitch is triggered by the latest security update released for Android phones. However, the actual reason that caused this issue is still unknown.

Unfortunately, users were unable to find a potential workaround to resolve the issue. The problem persists even if you attempt to revoke the app settings to access the camera. If you are on the same boat, you can head over to the Applications menu and then tap the App > Permissions to track your app’s permissions.

It is highly recommended that you monitor permissions, making sure unauthorized apps can’t automatically access your location, camera or microphone.

Have you noticed this issue on your phone? Share your experiences in the comments section below.


Alex Schoff

Alex is a technology reporter with a particular interest in Microsoft and Windows. He keeps a close eye on major developments related to Windows 10, Google Chrome, Office 365, and more.
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