What nefarious act can Apple’s AirPods be used for?

Answer: Spying.

by / January 15, 2019

It was not the company’s intent to create an everyday spy device, but it looks like everyday users have found a way to use their AirPods as such.

Apple introduced the Live Listen feature for AirPods last September with the release of iOS 12. Designed for hard-of-hearing users, the feature, when enabled, picks up sound in the immediate vicinity of the user’s phone and pipes it through to their earbuds. Thus, those in a noisy place like a restaurant would be better able to hear the conversations of the people sitting next to them.

However, in a tweet that recently went viral, someone revealed that the feature could also be used to spy on others. As long as you turn on the feature and then leave your phone in the room without anyone getting suspicious, you can hear what people nearby are saying when they think you can’t.