New Apple iOS 14 Release Blamed For Instagram Error
Some iPhone users are being warned that the Instagram app has been accessing their cameras without their permission even when they weren’t taking photos or recording video.
The alert comes from a new camera indicator, added in iOS 14 beta that glows green whenever camera use is detected. A similar indicator glows yellow to indicate microphone use.
The behavior looks to be another of iOS 14’s aggressive new user notifications, which alert users to app behaviors like clipboard copying.
The uninitiated, iOS 14’s new security features inform users of apps’ background behavior, when apps access clipboard for no reason, or like in Instagram’s case, the app accesses camera even when not needed. While using the iOS 14, on the top right, users will see a green dot next to the network indicator, which will show them when their camera is being accessed.
This process led users to believe that their cameras had been capturing images without their consent. Users acted quickly to call out this unusual behavior of Instagram on social media.
An Instagram spokesperson clarified, “The behavior was a bug and it’s being fixed. The app’s Create Mode is accessible from the Instagram camera which could set off the camera indicator, and swiping into the app’s Camera from Feed may also trip it up.”
He added, “The app only accesses the camera when made to, like when a user swipes right to start the camera from the Feed adding that they were fixing a bug in iOS 14 Beta that mistakenly indicates that the camera is being used when it actually isn’t.”
The spokesperson also said that in the case of these iOS 14 devices, or other devices, no content is recorded or being shot in these instances.
This indicator comes due to iOS 14’s new user notifications that alert users to app behaviors like clipboard copying etc.
Several apps, including LinkedIn, Reddit and Tik Tok, have already been caught out by a similar iOS 14 security feature that exposes when an app is caught reading the user’s clipboard.
LinkedIn has said that they have stopped their clipboard-copying practices and Reddit has said that they are fixing the code that causes this particular behavior.
Instagram’s parent company Facebook fixed a bug in its iOS app last year that appeared to be activating devices’ cameras in the background without users’ knowledge.
Bugs are always going to appear in beta versions of software and it’s good that this one has been caught early. The vast majority of iPhone users won’t ever see this particular bug on their own devices, as it will have been fixed long before iOS 14 goes for public release.