New York officials launch probe on Apple's FaceTime privacy issue

New York's Attorney General Letitia James and Governor Andrew M. Cuomo have opened an investigation into a privacy bug involving the Cupertino tech giant's FaceTime service.

The officials are seeking to know why Apple took a long time to alert affected users about the bug. The probe is also centered around the company's failure to take immediate steps to mitigate the problem.

Governor Cuomo said in a statement:

“New Yorkers deserve to know that their phones are safe and cannot be used against them. In the wake of this egregious bug that put the privacy of New Yorkers at risk, I am calling on the Attorney General to investigate this serious consumer rights issue. We need a full accounting of the facts to confirm businesses are abiding by New York consumer protection laws and to help make sure this type of privacy breach does not happen again.”

The bug was discovered earlier this week when users were able to hear the person they were calling even before the call was picked up. Apple was quick to temporarily disable the service. However, it was reported that the company was warned about the issue over a week before the bug became public. Michele Thompson from Arizona claimed that she had tried to call Apple's attention to it after her 14-year-old son discovered the bug by chance while playing Fortnite with friends.

The New York State Department's consumer protection division has started accepting complaints from the public in relation to the bug. Affected users may call the division's helpline 1-800-697-1220 from Monday to Friday during regular business hours.

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