A Look Into the iPhone FaceTime Glitch Claims

Posted on April 10, 2011 by

There have been many articles on the web this week suggesting that Apple’s iPhone 4 could be secretly taking pictures of users. I would like to look into these claims and use a little common sense to see if any of this actually makes sense, or if it’s some kind of misunderstanding or joke.

The issue was first reported on Apple’s support forum, where a user says an old picture of her and her boyfriend at work froze on the screen when she tried making a FaceTime call. This could be a believable glitch if the picture was from the last time she used FaceTime, but she says that, although she has used FaceTime at work, her boyfriend has not. So where did this picture come from? Is the iPhone actually taking pictures when we don’t know it? Or is this user just making stuff up?

Another user says that he has a dashboard mount in his car, and that he left his iPhone in it while running in to get a sandwich. When he gets to his destination, he begins to eat the sandwich and tries to use FaceTime, but a frozen image of him in his car 20-30 minutes prior shows up. He said he didn’t use his phone in the car and was not connected to WiFi, which is required to use FaceTime.

One user says it happens to her all the time. She recently used FaceTime and it flashed a picture of her at the gym taking a shower. She says she knows she didn’t take the picture, and that she never even brings her iPhone into the gym.

If I were a conspiracy theorist, I’m sure I could come up with some crazy ideas about how Apple is helping the government spy on us. But I just find it much easier to believe that these claims are being made up by some people with a little too much time on their hands and some creativity.

So far, Apple has not made a statement on the issue, and no one reporting on these claims has been able to recreate the problem.

Article first published as A Look Into the iPhone FaceTime Glitch Claims on Technorati.

Comments (358)


  1. I think she just called him by mistake and saw the Call picture. Really it is pointless for Apple to give a crap about taking random facetime pictures 9/10 times it would just be inside a pocket