AirTags, Apple’s newest product with a year’s worth of battery life, is an excellent method to keep track of our children, pets, and even goods we’re afraid about losing.
According to all of the reviews, Apple’s jobs and AirTag works well, perhaps too well, because according to numerous accounts, the item is currently being abused for unscrupulous purposes. Car thieves were recently reported to be using the device to track down cars they’d tagged, and now it appears that AirTags are being used to stalk people.
According to a recent tweet from user Jeana Jeana (whose account has since been made private), she spotted an AirTag buried in the well of her car’s front passenger wheel. After going to a bar, Jeana claims to have discovered the secret AirTag.
To be fair to Apple, it was aware of the possibility of the AirTag being abused in this way and has implemented a method to prevent it. AirTags that have been separated from their owner, for example, can warn other iPhone jobs owners of their presence, as Jeana learned when her iPhone sent her a notification.
At 2 a.m., the user received multiple messages on her iPhone saying, “AirTag Found Moving With You.” She claimed she has previously received similar messages, but only while delayed in traffic. This time she was driving jobs alone and received notifications for almost 30 minutes.
“AirTag Found Moving With You,” said the notification pop-up on her phone, which appeared even after she turned a few times. This is when she discovered she was being followed using an AirTag. The user looked through her belongings, including handbags, wallets, and coat pockets, but couldn’t find anything.
She didn’t go to her residence because it had been verified that she was being followed and that going there would have revealed her whereabouts. She traveled to a different hotel for the night. The next morning, a friend of hers examined the vehicle and discovered an “AirTag” fastened to the underside of the front passenger wheel.
It’s unclear whether the AirTag was used to stalk the woman directly. AirTags have recently been linked to luxury car thefts, with thieves apparently tagging expensive automobiles they know they can get into and then following them home with the AirTags.Nonetheless, the woman was understandably scared and concerned that someone was following her without her knowledge.
After it has been removed from its owner for 8-24 hours, AirTags will play a sound at random intervals to alert the other person to its presence. Also, because AirTag serial numbers are connected to the related Apple ID, authorities could get Apple to pass over information about the owner of the AirTag if they ever wanted to call them in for interrogation with a legitimate court order.
While these anti-stalker techniques are fantastic, the fact that they only take effect after the fact doesn’t feel quite preventive enough, and the AirTags are highly accessible given their low cost.