Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS 12 has given Apple AirPods another capability. A feature called ‘Live Listening;’ meant to be a helpful tool for those who are hard of hearing. Previously only available for MFi-certified hearing aids, the feature is not meant for eavesdropping.
However, the latter is what the tool is actually being used for, more often than not.
Apple AirPods: Easy Listening
It works like this.
Linked to your Apple phone via Bluetooth, the AirPods remain in the user’s ear while the phone is placed nearer to something that needs to be heard, say, a television speaker, for example. The phone transmits the sounds emanating from the speaker to the AirPods. It does this in real-time, hence the name ‘Live Listening.’ The listener hears the sound as if they were next to the speaker, even though they may actually be farther away. They could even be in a whole other room, and this is why the feature is raising eyebrows.
Because the ability to use the feature to eavesdrop is incredibly easy. A user simply leaves the phone in an unsuspecting room of conversation and then leaves the room. The Apple AirPods allow the user to hear, in real-time, everything being said when they are not there.
Allowing the feature to be easily available to anyone with an updated iPhone and a pair of AirPods is being called “irresponsible.” Whether it was Apple’s intention or not, this is another raised flag in the war between major tech and consumer privacy.
Today’s climate has had to become very privacy-focused. Data leaks and privacy scandals from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), and Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL), among others, are causing the concern.
Apple Sales Falling
Apple stocks were rocked earlier this month when the company lowered its holiday quarter sales guidance well below the Wall Street consensus of $91.5 million. Citing poor iPhone sales in China as the reason for missing the revenue mark, AAPL shares tanked on January 3rd and lost $55.5 billion USD in value overnight. At the current time, AAPL shares are selling for $152 USD, having paired some of those losses since.
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