Is it true that iPhones take photos every 5 seconds without you knowing?

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screen shot 2021 05 20 at 1.27.49 pm 1620x911 1.jpg
screen shot 2021 05 20 at 1.27.49 pm 1620x911 1.jpg

A couple of years ago, a post on TikTok making a disturbing claim about the iPhone went viral.

Now, two years later, the video it’s back in fashion taking advantage of the short memory of the Internet. In fact, the new video accumulates more likes than the original.

TikTok user @briethomason shared a video which accumulates hundreds of thousands of likesin which your iPhone supposedly captures an infrared image of the user every five seconds.

@briethomason Technology is WILDDDD. #ghostbusters #technology #infared #faceid ♬ original sound – Brie Thomason

The “proof” for his claim is that a flash of light could be seen through the lens of an infrared camera every few seconds while someone else was using the iPhone.

Of course, it wasn’t long before other conspiracy lovers started sharing the video, claiming that iPhones are taking unauthorized photos all the time. “He’s always watching”said one user. “Big Brother is working hard”wrote another.

Fortunately, the rumor is not true.

It’s not secret photos, it’s “attention detection”

The flash captured by the infrared camera is not a photo. It’s the iPhone’s “Attention Detection” feature, which checks if you’re paying attention to the screen before dimming the screen, expanding a notification while the screen is locked, or turning down the volume of certain notifications.

You may not even know you have the feature turned on, but it’s available on the iPhone X and later. It’s technically an IR emitter located near the camera, but it doesn’t store any kind of “invisible” or non-consensual photos of you.

In any case, if you are “conspiracy”, you can always deactivate attention detection in Settings> Face ID and attention.


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Abraham
Expert tech and gaming writer, blending computer science expertise