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Someone figured out how to use AirPods to eavesdrop on private conversations

Everybody is freaking out at the realisation that you can now spy on other people’s conversations with an iPhone and a set of AirPods.

Since late November, Apple enthusiasts have been spotting a curious function in the latest iOS that turns your AirPods into spying devices.

AirPods are wireless Bluetooth earbuds introduced by Apple in late 2016.

Apart from lacking chords and featuring Siri support, these earbuds have some cool enhancements to help hearing-impaired users.

The latest iOS allows users to access a function from the Control Centre called “Live Listen”. The feature is aimed at assisting individuals with hearing impairments to use their iPhone as a microphone to boost sounds.

You just have to place your iPhone close to the person you’re having trouble hearing and… voilà.

The thing is, since the rollout of iOS 12 last September, Apple users have discovered that in “Live Listen” mode, the iPhone is able to relay sound to the AirPods up to a distance of 15 metres.

That means that you could ‘accidentally’ leave your phone in one room and listen to everything people say from another.

Of course, the Twitter-verse has had plenty to say about the discovery. Some are concerned about the possible breach of privacy such a feature entails, while others are already plotting to use the trick at their next party.

About the author

Filmmaker. 3D artist. Procrastination guru. I spend most of my time doing VFX work for my upcoming film Servicios Públicos, a sci-fi dystopia about robots, overpopulated cities and tyrant states. @iampineros

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