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Congress Wants Answers from Apple Over FaceTime Flaw

We're still waiting on Apple to give the all-clear signal on the FaceTime Group Chat flaw that let people listen in on you before you accepted their call. But two U.S. lawmakers want Apple to provide more answers about how it addressed the problem.

Credit: Shutterstock

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) sent a letter today (Feb. 5) to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking for more information on what steps Apple took to address the FaceTime flaw after it had been discovered.

"We believe it is important for Apple to be transparent about its investigation into the Group FaceTime feature's vulnerability and the steps it is taking to protect consumers' privacy," Pallone and Schakowsky wrote. "To date, we do not believe Apple has been as transparent as this serious issue requires."

MORE: How to Turn Off FaceTime on Your iPhone and Mac

The two lawmakers have some pull in the new Congress. Pallone is the chairman of the Energy and Commerce committee while Schakowsky heads the subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce.

The problem with FaceTime became public knowledge a week ago, after reports emerged that a flaw could let iPhone users spy on each other via Group FaceTime. A teenager reportedly discovered the flaw in mid-January and attempted to bring it to Apple's attention, but to no avail.

After the flaw became widely known last week, Apple shut down the Group FaceTime feature and promised a fix. Last Friday, it said the fix would be coming this week.

The gap between the discovery of the FaceTime flaw and Apple's response to it seems to have been what's drawn congressional scrutiny. In their letter, Pallone and Schakowsky ask Cook when Apple first became aware of the vulnerability. The lawmakers also want Apple to provide a timeline on how it addressed the flaw and whether it's working to identify "which FaceTime users' privacy interests were violated as a result of this vulnerability."

The letter asks Apple to respond by Feb. 19.