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That Was Fast: Apple Already Sued Over FaceTime Flaw

Editors' Note: Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET with tweets from the New York Attorney General's office and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

Even as a massive flaw in Apple's FaceTime app on iOS and Mac was making the rounds on social media Monday (Jan. 28), one lawyer was already filing suit against the iPhone maker for damages. And that may not be the end of the legal fallout for the company.

Credit: Shutterstock

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Larry Williams, a Houston attorney, alleges that he was conducting a private deposition with a client when someone else could have exploited the bug to eavesdrop and record the proceedings without his knowledge. The lawsuit was first reported by Courthouse News.

Williams' lawsuit against Apple was filed to the Harris County District Court on Jan. 28 at 3:29 p.m. Central time — a few hours after the flaw began circulating on Twitter.

"Under the update or most current version, an unknown third party is allowed to eavesdrop on a parties [sic] phone without answering," Williams' lawsuit reads. "Essentially the product converts a person's personal iPhone into a microphone that can be answered by an unknown third party to listen and record one's most intimate conversation without consent."

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

The suit goes on to speculate that "an unknown number of undefined plaintiffs" have suffered similar injuries as a result of the flaw. The suit strongly implies, but does not state, that unauthorized recording actually took place during Williams' deposition — it states only that the bug "allowed for" that possibility.

Apple moved quickly to temporarily shut down Group FaceTime services on Jan. 29, which has prevented nefarious user from continuing to exploit it until the company can deliver a true patch in the coming days.

We'd wager that Williams' case will be only the first of many lawsuits to emerge in the fallout of Apple's oversight. And it looks like government agencies may weigh in on the controversy, too. Later in the day, the New York State Attorney General's office announced it was looking into why Apple was slow to alert customers to the problem.

"We will conduct a thorough investigation into Apple's response to the situation & will evaluate their actions in relation to the law," a follow-up tweet from the attorney general promised.

At the federal level, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Mn.) called the FaceTime bug "a clear violation of consumers' privacy protections" and called for the passage of a privacy bill she's pushing with Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.).