FaceTime this product meets our minimum security standards
Apple | Comes installed free on all Apple hardware

FaceTime

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.

Minimum Security Standards

Five basic steps every company should take to protect consumer privacy. Learn more.

Overall Security Rating
4.5/5 star
Encryption
Yes
FaceTime uses end-to-end encryption.
Security updates
Yes
Apple updates FaceTime at least twice a year to add new features and address small bugs.
Strong password
N/A
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.
Manages vulnerabilities
Yes
Apple has a bug bounty program for security vulnerabilities
Privacy policy
Yes
https://www.apple.com/privacy/

What is required to sign up?

FaceTime requires users to sign in with their Apple ID

How does it handle privacy?

How does it share data?
Apple does collect personal infomation on users such as email address, phone number, social media profile information, and more. Apple states in its privacy policy that it does not sell personal information with third parties for marketing purposes. However, Apple also states that there may be times it provides third parties with certain personal information to help Apple market to consumers.
How are your recordings handled?
FaceTime does not have an official call recording option.
Alerts when calls are being recorded?
N/A
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?
No
FaceTime is not HIPAA compliant
Links to privacy information

Can I control it?

Host controls
Hosts and participants all have the same level of control, from muting their own mic to switching from their phone's front-facing camera to the rear. FaceTime centers video conference calls around group chats within the iPhone's Messages app. Anyone within a specific group chat can join the group FaceTime call at any time.
Is it easy to learn and use the features?
Yes
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.
😮

What could happen if something went 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).

Updates

Maybe we shouldn’t use Zoom after all
TechCrunch
Now that we’re all stuck at home thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, video calls have gone from a novelty to a necessity. Zoom, the popular videoconferencing service, seems to be doing better than most and has quickly become one of, if not the most, popular option going. But should it be?
Forget Zoom: Use these private video-chatting tools, instead
Mashable
Here are three Zoom alternatives to consider for video conferencing and online meetings.

Compare products