Review date: 04/23/2020
If you've ever video chatted iPhone-to-iPhone, chances are you used FaceTime. Apple's video calling app is installed on all its devices by default, meaning FaceTime options get prime placement. FaceTime is super simple, making it easy to access features like mute and flip camera. This simplicity is also FaceTime's downside: callers can't lock their calls with a password, use a virtual background, or access a web link that would allow anyone to quickly join a call. The biggest downside? The FaceTime club is an exclusive one – if you don't have an Apple device, you can't join.
What could happen if something goes wrong
Not too much, we think. Apple is known for having a pretty strong privacy track record. FaceTime is end-to-end encrypted, which is the best case scenario for a video chat app. FaceTime makes a fine video chat option (if all your friends own Apple products).
What is required to sign up?
Third party account
FaceTime requires users to sign in with their Apple ID
What data does it collect?
How does it use this data?
How are your recordings handled?
Alerts when calls are being recorded?
FaceTime has no built-in call record feature, but callers are still able to take a screenshot of their screen. Snapping a screenshot with the button on the bottom left of the call window results in an alert to the other person about the screenshot. Taking a screenshot using a physical button combination (home button + power button or home button + volume button) does not alert the other caller. Newer versions of iOS allow users to record video of their screen using the Screen Recording feature. If one FaceTime user starts to record video of their screen, the app will not alert call participants as to what's happening.
Does the platform say it is compliant with US medical privacy laws?
FaceTime is not HIPAA compliant
Links to privacy information
Can I control it?
Is it easy to learn and use the features?
FaceTime features are straightforward. Apple device owners can make FaceTime calls right from their device's Messages app by tapping the video icon. Apple's site provides documentation to learn how to use features.
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
FaceTime uses end-to-end encryption.
Users can and should password protect their phone to keep unwanted people from making FaceTime calls. When making a person-to-person call, passwords aren't required or even needed.
Apple updates FaceTime at least twice a year to add new features and address small bugs.
Apple has a bug bounty program for security vulnerabilities