Creeps have started selling “silent AirTags” with disabled speakers that other crawlers can use for more efficient stalking. One such device sold for $ 77.50 on Etsy before the “star seller” changed his mind and removed it.
Apple designed the AirTag to emit sound after being away from its paired device for a while, which can help alert people around it to its presence. Without speakers, the AirTag is much harder to detect.
AirTags ‘Stealth mode’ now on sale
With all the praise AirTag has received for being a great item finder since it made its long-awaited debut last spring, it has also suffered a lot of criticism for so easily stalking unsuspecting victims to its owners.
Apple has implemented a number of safeguards in an effort to reduce this threat, including notifications that appear on the iPhone when an unknown AirTag is detected near you, and audible warnings from AirTag itself.
But some unscrupulous vendors on eBay and Etsy have found that they can eliminate that audible warning by simply disabling AirTag speakers. They then sell modified, “stealth mode” devices at a significant price.
‘Not for stalking’
Vendors, some of whom charge more than $ 70 per AirTag, apparently argue that the devices should not be used for stalking. Instead, they say they should reduce the possibility of a thief being informed that AirTag is following them.
One “star seller” on Etsy, JPEE3D, removed their listing for silent AirTags after getting a negative reaction online.
“The intent of this modification was to meet several customer requirements interested in my second AirTag product who were interested in installing AirTag on their bikes, pets and power tools,” they said. PCMag.
“While I believe there are many positive uses for this product, there are some negative aspects that I am now aware of that cannot be surpassed by any positives. In light of this, I removed my listing from Etsy. ”
Should Apple get involved?
The modified AirTags appear to be muted by drilling a small hole under the device’s battery to turn off the speaker. This prevents the device itself from making noise and greatly reduces the possibility of it being spotted.
Apple, despite taking steps to prevent stalking with AirTag, and the availability of many other GPS tracking devices that do not offer protection against stalking, is already under pressure to do more. But it is not yet clear what it is about I can do it.
Pennsylvania became the first U.S. state this month to propose a bill that could introduce new laws to prevent AirTag stalking. In Australia, some retailers refuse to sell the device.
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