In a world where privacy matters a lot, and where you do not know whether the FBI is collecting your data, Apple AirPods might pose a risk. Apparently, Apple AirPods can help you spy on conversations that you might not be able to hear otherwise. This opens the door for collecting data on users, even against their will.
Apple AirPods Can Help You Spy on Conversations?
Apple AirPods can help you spy on conversations, although that was not Apple’s original intention. The iOS12 update added the Live Listen feature for AirPods. This Live Listen feature allows the iPhone user to use the iPhone as a directional microphone, with the AirPods as hearing aids. Thus, you can use this feature in noisy restaurants and the like.
However, users are proposing alternative means of using this Live Listen feature. One user, @arnoldcrndo, suggested that you leave your phone in the room with someone else, with the “Live Listen” feature on. This suggestion went viral, as users retweeted it to each other. If you have someone that you would like to spy on, the suggestion goes, you can just leave your phone next to him or her. Consequently, you can listen to the conversation from another place using your AirPods.
Apple’s intention is not that users use the Live Listen feature other than for its original purpose. This is especially true, given Apple’s emphasis on protecting its users’ privacy.
FBI Versus Apple on User Privacy
In what was a recent case of Apple versus the FBI on user privacy, Apple refused to help hack an iPhone. And, this was not just any iPhone. It was an iPhone that belonged to a shooter in the San Bernardino attack. It would be an interesting case, because the tech giant’s system disables the phone after 10 unsuccessful password attempts.
Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook, at the time, refused to comply. He said that it would require writing new software that could open hundreds of millions of locks. And, Cook replied that if the FBI could access the iPhone, nothing could stop them from accessing other phones and exploiting the access.
The law enforcement authorities said that it was a one-off case, and the case went to court. It ended after the authorities announced that they accessed the device. However, they did not find anything of interest on it.