AirTag Safety: How Apple Is Making Users Safer From Stalkers

By Michael Grothaus •  Updated: 02/11/22 •  4 min read

Stalkers love AirTags. But Apple is making changes to throat them.

Apple’s AirTags are great little devices that allow you to track whatever item they are attached to. For example, an AirTag in a wallet can help you locate it if you’ve left it behind. Or an airbag taped to your bicycle could help track it down if it goes missing. 

AirTag Safety: How Apple Is Making Users Safer From Stalkers
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But unfortunately, there are people out there who will use any technology for bad. This is no different for AirTags. Since their introduction, some shady people have been using AirTags to stalk people or even help them steal cars. And now, Apple itself has acknowledged this is a problem:

“AirTag was designed to help people locate their personal belongings, not to track people or another person’s property, and we condemn in the strongest possible terms any malicious use of our products. Unwanted tracking has long been a societal problem, and we took this concern seriously in the design of AirTag…

“We’ve become aware that individuals can receive unwanted tracking alerts for benign reasons, such as when borrowing someone’s keys with an AirTag attached, or when traveling in a car with a family member’s AirPods left inside. We also have seen reports of bad actors attempting to misuse AirTag for malicious or criminal purposes.”

Apple
AirTag Safety: How Apple Is Making Users Safer From Stalkers
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That being said, Apple says that in discussions with law enforcement, “incidents of AirTag misuse are rare.” However, the company has gone on to announced that it is enhancing AirTag safety measures to ensure the public are better protected from those who will misuse the devices. Those protections include:

While all these improvements are welcome, Apple has not said when they will launch–only giving the timeframe of later this year. However, it’s important to note that the majority of AirTag user cases are benign: people buy AirTags to track lost items.

And check out:

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Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.
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