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Apple Watch Walkie Talkie App Disabled Over Spying Concerns

Apple Watch activity app
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

It seems that Apple can’t catch a break lately. After screwing up with a bug that allowed people to spy on iOS and macOS users via Group FaceTime, the Cupertino company has been forced to disable the Apple Watch’s Walkie Talkie app for exactly the same reasons.

According to TechCrunch, the vulnerability itself hasn’t been specified, but it appears that a user would be able to spy on another user using the Walkie Talkie app. This app allows paired Apple Watch and iPhone users to talk to each other over the air at the push of a button — just like with a real walkie-talkie.

Apple sent this statement to TechCrunch:

“We were just made aware of a vulnerability related to the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch and have disabled the function as we quickly fix the issue. We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and will restore the functionality as soon as possible. 

Although we are not aware of any use of the vulnerability against a customer and specific conditions and sequences of events are required to exploit it, we take the security and privacy of our customers extremely seriously. 

We conclude that disabling the app was the right course of action as this bug could allow someone to listen through another customer’s iPhone without consent.  We apologize again for this issue and the inconvenience.“

Until the fix comes, the app will not be erased from iPhones or Apple Watches -- it'll just be disabled.