We’ve all had mobile mishaps.
Autocorrect humorously swaps a word. Siri misunderstands a request. Someone accidentally swipes left.
Still, there’s something exquisitely ironic about John McAfee, a cybersecurity software pioneer, presidential candidate, and self-proclaimed advocate of privacy and technology, succumbing to one the most well-known handset gaffes: the butt-dial.
McAfee’s posterior (or maybe it was his pocket?) perpetrated the act after a recent interview with a Yahoo (YHOO) news reporter. As Alyssa Bereznak writes, “I realized, after an entire conversation about how much he values privacy and all the preventative measures he takes to avoid being spied upon, McAfee had unknowingly tapped a button on his phone — maybe even butt-dialed? — and given me a window into his private conversation.”
In the earlier (planned) interview with the anti-virus software pioneer, whose namesake company sold to Intel (INTC) in 2010, McAfee claims to be the subject of concerted electronic eavesdropping. Responding to a question about personal invasions of privacy, he mentions that he is a target of Stingrays, a type of equipment that intercepts cellular data.
I know for an absolute fact that Stingrays are constantly around me because I have software that tells me. I have Stingrays constantly trying to push different versions of operating systems down to my phone so they can listen to me and watch me. I am smart enough to at least realize what has happened and do a factory reboot of my phone, or throw the phone away. If I thought I was the only person in the room who [was being watched,] I wouldn’t be out there campaigning right now.
All this privacy prattle makes McAfee’s presumably inadvertent phone call all the more farcical. While what the reporter overhears is not, in fact, of much consequence—it seems to be the mutterings of a conversation McAfee had with his wife—the incident does serve to highlight McAfee’s point. No one is safe from the intrusions of technology.
Or anatomy, for that matter.
Reached for comment, a McAfee spokesperson told Fortune via email: “John is more than willing to answer any substantial questions you may have about policy positions or plans. As far as the butt dial, it was a simple mistake.”
For more on cybersecurity, watch this video below.