Quickly removed from sales platforms, these GPS trackers had been relieved of their anti-harassment loudspeaker.
Very practical on a daily basis for finding your keys or wallet, AirTags have also quickly become the tool of choice for stalkers. These small GPS trackers that are easy to slip into a pocket have, since their launch last year, dozens of miscellaneous facts to their credit. To avoid putting its users in danger, Apple had quickly deployed an anti-harassment mode, which consisted of warning a person when an unknown AirTag had been nearby for too long. For Android smartphone owners, the device was also compatible with a PlayStore application, and capable of ringing in the event of prolonged removal from its reference iPhone.
Modified Silent AirTags on Etsy and eBay
In recent days, some resale sites like eBay or Etsy have started selling AirTags without speakers.
Quickly removed, these Silent AirTags spotted by PCMag allowed to get away from their official owner, while remaining silent. The perfect object to follow a target discreetly. Sold for $77.50, more than double that of a classic Apple trackerthe device looked exactly like a classic AirTag, except for a discreet hole drilled under the battery, which allowed the speaker to be disconnected.
Contacted by PC Mag, the seller in question, however, denies any malicious intent. It thus indicates that “The intention behind this modification was to respond to the many requests from buyers, who wanted to install an AirTag on their bicycles, pets and power tools”. On his Etsy seller account, we find in particular another model of AirTag, this time still equipped with its speaker, but refined in order to be slipped more easily into a wallet or a handbag.
Oh looks. There is already a secondary market for modified AirTags with the speaker disabled for “stealth mode.” I hate everything so much right now. https://t.co/Y56CusJ4qP
— Eva (@evacide) February 2, 2022
Despite his presumed good intentions, the seller quickly caught the attention of some rights advocatesand in particular the director of cybersecurity at the Electronic Frontier Foundation Eva Galperin.