Apple AirTags are basically very handy gadgets that can help you find lost items. AirTags with the speaker removed have now appeared on various websites – perfect for stalkers and thieves.
- AirTags are sold without speakers on eBay and Etsy.
- The gadgets are designed to help find lost items.
- Data security advocates are now concerned about the purpose of such AirTags.
According to Apple, AirTags was created to help locate lost or misplaced items. You can attach the small gadgets to your keychain or stow them in your pocket to track them down with the “Find My” app. Unfortunately, the devices have had to deal with negative headlines lately. Because stalkers and car thieves use them to track their victims.
To combat the criminals, Apple implemented a small speaker that emits a tone when the AirTags follow an unknown iPhone for too long. However, the AirTags are now being offered on sites such as eBay without these speakers and could therefore trigger a new debate about protecting the privacy of such devices. On average, the AirTags sell for 77 euros, which is a good 50 euros more expensive than normal.
Are the Silent AirTags legal?
AirTags have been used repeatedly for car thefts in recent weeks. The thieves clip an AirTag to a car and can follow it to the front door or parking lot. As a result, the gadgets were already under criticism. The Silent AirTags that have now surfaced are rekindling the discussion about this. Eva Galperin, director of data security at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, recently expressed criticism of the Silent AirTags.
Any item that works for the purpose of catching a thief in this manner is also a perfect tool for stalking. That is why Apple advertises them as tools for tracking lost items and not stolen ones.
— Eva (@evacide) February 2, 2022
The sellers on eBay and Etsy claim that they remove the speakers for a good reason: namely, so that thieves are not warned if they steal a victim’s wallet, for example. However, that would be the darkest level of the gray area at best. Apple itself deliberately markets the AirTags with the note that you can use them to find lost items – there is no question of stolen items.
The little things are still legal. Now it remains to be seen how Apple itself will react. However, the sellers of the gadgets are quite understanding. When a seller on Etsy realized what the Silent AirTags could be used for, he immediately took them off the market.
What do you think of the Silent AirTags? Do you think Apple can do something about the misuse of gadgets? What do you think would be the appropriate step? Let us know in the comments!