Apple’s AirPods are being misused to spy on conversations through a feature that was not meant to enable eavesdropping through the wireless earbuds.
The iOS 12 update, which Apple released last September, added the Live Listen feature to the AirPods. Previously reserved for hearing aids certified under the Made for iPhone hearing aid program, Live Listen allows the iPhone to be used as a directional microphone and the AirPods as hearing aids, in situations such as in a noisy restaurant.
To activate the feature, users will need to go to the Control Center menu under Settings, tap Customize Controls, and then tap the plus sign next to the Hearing icon to add it to the Control Center.
Apple added Live Listen to the AirPods to help users with minor hearing issues. However, some people are talking about abusing the feature to listen in on others.
The viral tweet on how to use Apple’s AirPods as an eavesdropping device by a user who goes by the handle @arnoldcrndo has been retweeted over 50,000 times and has received over 152,000 likes. The process is fairly simple — users just have to activate the Live Listen feature, leave their iPhone near the people they want to spy on, and listen to the conversation from another place through their AirPods.
The Twitter user then adds that the Live Listen feature may be used as walkie talkies, and also to cheat in schools as another person communicates the answers to the AirPods-wearer taking a test.
via Digital Trends