Selling Disabled Speaker Silenced AirTags Is Getting More Popular Online

by -
Photo: Gizmodo – One of Apple’s most contentious products continues to be the subject of serious concerns about privacy. Apple includes (and has subsequently enhanced) many safety mechanisms that will warn someone to the existence of a nearby AirTag that’s not their own, including an audible beep. However, PCMag reports that one Etsy seller was selling AirTags with the speaker physically disabled, creating privacy issues once more…

Using Apple’s Find My network, the AirTag, a compact, easy-to-carry gadget about the size of a quarter, quietly keeps track of the trackers and reports the information back to each tag’s registered user. People may attach an airtag to their keys or other valuables and use it to swiftly find them if they were ever lost or stolen. iOS users would ultimately be told if a tracker assigned to someone else was close, however Android users would have to depend on an audio buzzer that would start buzzing three days after an AirTag was removed from its owner.

New updates promised by Apple in the months following the AirTag’s debut addressed concerns about the product’s potential for abuse—which we highlighted in our initial review of the AirTags—by introducing a Tracker Detect app for Android that made it easier for Android users to locate and identify the devices. In addition, CNET reports that the period between when the trackers begin beeping after being away from their registered owner has been cut to a “random time within a span that lasts from 8 to 24 hours.”

Apple says the AirTags are intended for finding lost items, not stolen ones, but some users were concerned that a shorter timeframe for the AirTags to audibly reveal themselves would alert thieves, who could then find and remove the devices. This didn’t completely eliminate the risks of AirTags being abused, but it was an improvement. These fears led to the sale of modified AirTags, including a $77.50 “Silent AirTag” on Etsy (now removed), which had a tiny hole drilled beneath the battery to disable the speaker. (At the very least, such worry provides dealers with a little amount of cover for their motives.)

While the AirTag speaker may be deactivated or removed altogether, similar goods can still be sold on sites like eBay and internet instructions can demonstrate how to accomplish these feats When an AirTag has been physically modified, there are no software updates from Apple that can make it start making noise again, and all of the other safety features are still dependent on victims not only having an updated phone but also being able to use the necessary apps in order to locate and remove the AirTags from their devices. When utilized improperly, the hazards outweigh the benefits when it comes to locating a missing set of keys, in my opinion.