Apple has disabled the Walkie-Talkie feature on Apple Watch due to the discovery of a bug which could allow a stranger to eavesdrop on conversations by listening to audio recorded from the Apple Watch, and then shared without consent.
According to Apple who shared a statement with TechCrunch, the company allegedly discovered this vulnerability themselves without any reports from customers. The statement goes on to say that Apple doesn’t believe anybody took advantage of the exploit, though until the issue is fixed the feature has bene pulled from use.
Though Apple didn’t share the exact nature of the bug, they said a specific sequence of events had to take place for a user to begin eavesdropping, suggesting that this isn’t something which could easily be stumbled on by accident, unlike the huge FaceTime bug earlier this year which allowed users to hear audio from the person they are calling before that person has accepted or rejected the call.
To make matters worse, the FaceTime bug also showed a live video stream from the front-facing camera of the person receiving the call, again, without them accepting or rejecting the call when the recipient pushed the volume or power buttons, though Apple quickly suspended group FaceTime, the cause of the bug, and issued a fix.
Apple hasn’t shared when Walkie-Talkie will be reactivated on Apple Watch. It is unclear if the bug can be fixed remotely or if it requires a watchOS update to solve the creepy issue.