Companies always try to accommodate the disabled to make sure they get the chance to try the latest technology as well. However, opening up the software to allow easy access to information can make the system vulnerable. This has been a case with Apple where the company was trying to help the hearing impaired customers but accidentally allowed people to use AirPods for eavesdropping.
Apple added an option called “Live Listen” to iOS 12 which allowed people with hearing disability to use iPhone to enhance the sound of the person speaking and then transmit it directly to AirPods. While the “Live Listen” feature is great for those who have trouble hearing the other person, it can also be used as an eavesdropping tool. People can easily leave their iPhones in the room to eavesdrop on their partner, boss or anyone they want to listen to without the victim knowing about it.
The feature was built by Apple to help the hearing impaired but can be used a device to eavesdrop. People on Reddit also pointed out that if a person can eavesdrop with “Live Listen” then maybe Apple could also eavesdrop onto its customers. This is not the first time that a tech that was meant to help the disabled made the whole system vulnerable. Earlier this year, researchers built a tool using Google’s Speech-To-Text Service that allowed users to skip CAPTCHAs and worryingly enough, it used Google’s very own Voice Recognition APIs. So Apple is not the first company to become a victim of exploitation using assistive technologies and it won’t be the last. While we wait for an official statement from Apple, it’s best if you don’t bitch about your employees in a room with an unattended iPhone.
Via: Economics Times