Apple disables Walkie Talkie app over eavesdropping fears

Yolanda Curtis
July 12, 2019

Earlier this year, another vulnerability was discovered in Apple's FaceTime app.

In a rare instance of an app being disabled by Apple, the Cupertino-based tech giant today announced that the Walkie Talkie app on the Watch won't function.

When contacted by Business Insider for further details, Apple referred us to the statement given to TechCrunch.

Apple was made aware of the vulnerability through its security and privacy support page where reports can be filed.

Now playing: Watch this: WatchOS 5 updates the Apple Watch with Walkie-Talkie.

Apple has disabled the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch after detecting a bug which could have allowed Kent users of the app to eavesdrop on others.

But an unknown flaw means that the feature obviously didn't work as intended, and could be exploited by snoopers.

In a statement to TechCrunch, Apple stated that they were recently made aware of the vulnerability and disabled that functionality as quickly as they could, while they worked on a fix. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and will restore the functionality as soon as possible.

Apparently, the flaw could have allowed a skilled enough hacker to "listen through another customer's iPhone without consent". We apologize again for this issue and the inconvenience. While somewhat gimmicky, we can absolutely understand why certain users would find Walkie-Talkie useful in certain scenarios when writing a text or making a call on their iPhone is simply not as convenient.

Apple was criticized at the time for being too slow to respond to the bug.

Although the app will still appear on Apple Watch devices, it will not be functional until the vulnerability is patched over.

It comes three days after a researcher revealed a vulnerability on video-conferencing service Zoom's Mac app, which left users vulnerable to having their webcams remotely activated.

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