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The Facebook app may have been secretly opening your phone camera

Ahh, Facebook. Users have spotted an extremely scary potential security issue in the Facebook app, which has been launching the camera without asking for permission.

Facebook hasn’t got the best reputation in the world for respecting privacy, and yet another worrying example of a perceived privacy violation has surfaced in the last 24 hours.

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According to online reports from multiple concerned iOS users, the Facebook app has opened the camera app on their iPhone without asking for permission first.

Responding to video evidence of the problem on Twitter, Facebook’s vice president for integrity (seriously), Guy Rosen, said it “sounds like a bug”, adding that the company is “looking into it”.

Later in the day, Rosen responded to another tweet and this time promised action to fix the bug.

He claimed that the camera did not capture any images or footage, despite being opened, and a software solution was already underway via an update available on the App Store.

While it’s good to know that Facebook has responded so quickly to the alarming issue, it may not do much to assuage people’s worries that the company is not adequately respecting or protecting the privacy of its millions of users… from Facebook.

This is far from the first time that Facebook has been implicated in a possible privacy violation, with the most infamous example of course being the Cambridge Analytica scandal of last year, which attracted plenty of political attention.

Although this latest development seems to have been a software glitch rather than a malign or nefarious feature, we’ve compiled a helpful list of steps that you can take today in order to better protect your privacy on Facebook (just in case), including instructions on how to control who can see your personal information — just click on the link below for a thorough breakdown.

Related: Facebook Privacy Settings: 18 changes you should make right away

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