When it comes to technology like smartphones or Amazon Alexa gadgets, you might have wondered how much information they really have about you.
For instance, we recently learned that our iPhones keep track of all the places we visit – logging when we went and how long we were there for.
And now one social media user has claimed that our Apple phones have also been taking photos of us every few seconds.
In a viral TikTok video, a woman shares her conspiracy theory, filming her phone with an infrared lens, which shows a flash going off every five seconds.
And while it does look like it’s taking pictures, experts have explained that’s not actually the case.
According to a number of people in the comments, the phone is actually scanning to see if you are looking directly at the screen – and it only occurs on iPhones that have the Face ID feature.
It’s what’s known as an Attention-Aware feature, meaning that the phone will check whether you’re paying attention to the screen, before dimming the display, lowering the volume of some alerts or expanding a notification.
Responding to @itsconspiracyseriously and @briethomasons video, people compared the feature to the way Amazon’s Alexa devices are always listening out for the ‘Alexa’ command.
One person said: “Of course it does if you have Face ID set up. It’s like Alexa or Google Home. Constantly listening for the Hey Google or Hey Alexa. Same concept.”
Another said: “The phone is not taking pictures, it’s only seeing if you are looking at the phone so it won’t lock while you are looking at it. You can deactivate that.”
Others claimed to have seen the flashes on their baby monitor and been confused as to what they were.
If you’re not keen on the idea of your phone constantly scanning your face, you can disable the feature in settings.
You simply go to Face ID & Passcode, enter your passcode and then scroll down to attention.
Here you have two options you can deactivate – Require Attention for Face ID and Attention-Aware Features.
The first feature says: “TrueDepth camera will provide an additional level of security by verifying that you are looking at iPhone before unlocking. Some sunglasses may block attention detection.”
The second, attention-aware reads: “iPhone will check for attention before dimming the display, expanding a notification when locked or lowering the volume of some alerts.”