Instagram Reportedly Shows Camera Use When You’re Not Using It After New iPhone Update

Do you worry that your technology is spying on you? People who downloaded an early version of Apple’s next iPhone software update, iOS 14, got a bit of a scare when they started seeing a surprising notification on their device: Instagram was accessing their camera when they were not taking photos

Don’t get your tin-foil hat ready just yet, though. (Or do! Who am I to judge?)

A spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, told Business Insider that the notifications were caused by a bug that the company is working to fix. The spokesperson also said that just because people saw the notification doesn’t mean Instagram was actually accessing their camera.

“We only access your camera when you tell us to–for example, when you swipe from Feed to Camera. 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 spokesperson said.

The Verge first reported on the issue after a Twitter user noticed his phone acting weirdly: “Casually browsing Instagram when suddenly the new iOS 14 camera/microphone indicator comes on. The control panel ratted out the app behind it. This is going to change things.” 

Other people have stepped forward and said they are also seeing a green dot at the top of the screen when an app is accessing the camera or microphone

An Apple spokesperson said that users are shown the “recording indicator” notification “whenever an app is using the mic or camera.”

In June, a new iOs 14 feature showed that TikTok, LinkedIn, Reddit, and other apps were scraping the contents of users’ clipboards. After users noticed this, all three apps promised to stop the practice. Last fall, a feature in iOS 13 started notifying people that Facebook apps were using their Bluetooth to collect data. 

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