Some iPhone users suspect Instagram activates camera in background, company claims it's a bug
An iOS 14 feature notifies users when an app is using the camera or microphone and guess who just got caught? Some users report that they can see the green indicator that denotes camera usage when using Instagram, even when they are not taking a photo or a video. This implies the Facebook-owned picture platform accesses your camera even when you are just scrolling through the feed.
Casually browsing Instagram when suddenly the new iOS 14 camera/microphone indicator comes on. Then control panel ratted out the app behind it. This is going to change things. #iOS14pic.twitter.com/EnTIRsqq3R— KevDoy (@KevDoy) July 17, 2020
The Verge says that an Instagram spokesperson claims that's not the case. The Create Mode is accessed from the camera and this could make iPhone's operating system believe that the camera is being used in the background. Similarly, swiping into the camera from the feed could also trigger the indicator.
In short, Instagram says that the camera is only accessed on the user's command and insists that the recently reported behavior is a bug that is being fixed in the iOS 14 beta. The bug is causing the app to mistakenly show that the camera is being used when it isn't.
While Instagram is working on a fix, you might want to revoke its camera access to be on the safe side.
iOS 14 beta exposing apps since its roll out
Quite recently, various apps were found copying clipboard information, thanks again to iOS 14. The developer trial notifies the user when an app accesses the iPhone's copied text.
TikTok came up with bizarre excuses to copy clipboard data and promised to discontinue the practice. Reddit and LinkedIn also said they would stop scanning clipboard and assured users that data was not stored or received.
While sometimes there are genuine reasons why an app requires clipboard access, it's not always needed. Like Instagram, Reddit and LinkedIn both said they weren't snooping around and a bug is what caused the behavior.
Last year, Facebook also took care of a bug in its iOS app that seemed to be activating cameras in the background without users' permission or knowledge. At that time, the company assured that no photos or videos were captured.