Sci-tech

Apple might force Facebook to change how its apps handle voice calls

Apple might force Facebook to change how its apps handle voice calls”

The California-based tech giant is tweaking its mobile operating system to bar apps from running a calling feature known as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) in the background when it is not actually in use, The Information reported, citing multiple sources familiar with the matter. The small change in iOS 13 will severely restrict Facebook Messengers ability to make collect data in the background. These background processes have also been found to collect user and system data, but iOS 13 will include software that blocks this data collection. This will be hitting Facebook a little harder than others as it has the feature a number of apps, including Facebook Messenger.

In the future, Apple will only allow background access to be used for VoIP calls, and nothing else. It is likely to have a major impact on the development of WhatsApp, which uses internet calling for voice and video calls, which it claims are end-to-end encrypted.

"The changes to the upcoming iOS releases are not insignificant, but we are in conversations with Apple on how best to address", a Facebook spokesperson told The Information.

The rebranding won't be subtle, as the two apps will be renamed "Instagram from Facebook" and "WhatsApp from Facebook". Developers will have until April to comply. However, a lot of things are at stake when it comes to privacy. Apart from collecting data, apps that run in the background also drain the battery. A handful of apps, including WeChat and Snapchat, rely on VoIP-centered background processes for some functionality.



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