Apple AirTag may get louder.
Apple AirTag Stalking
After several reports of stalking using Apple AirTag, the company says it’s planning to improve the tracker to fight against unwanted tracking. When an unknown AirTag is traveling with the users, they are alerted sooner. The company also promised that it will make the tracker easier to find by simply adjusting the tone sequence. When it’s adjusted, it will make the sound louder.
“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.”
The company also acknowledged that “unwanted tracking has long been a societal problem, and we took this concern seriously in the design of AirTag. It’s why the Find My network is built with privacy in mind, uses end-to-end encryption, and why we innovated with the first-ever proactive system to alert you of unwanted tracking.”
Thieves have been using AirTags to track luxury cars. Stalkers are also using them to track women. Apple’s post is also an acknowledgment that AirTag is being used for malicious purposes.
This tracker has several safety features. For instance, it makes beeping sounds if it’s away from the linked device for a day. And if there are unknown AirTags nearby, iPhones will receive warnings.
Unfortunately, the beeping sound is difficult to hear. And the warnings also vary. In fact, one of the victims of stalking using AirTag said that she was only notified four hours after her phone noticed an unknown tracker.
Apple will roll out precision finding. It will enable recipients of unwanted tracking to locate an unknown tracker with precision. Newer iPhone models can use Precision Finding to know the distance and direction of unknown AirTag.
As the iPhone users move, the feature will integrate input from ARKit, gyroscope, accelerometer, and camera to guide them in finding the unknown AirTag.
However, this update will be not be released until later this year. The company didn’t provide more specifics on the timing.
Apple stated that another update will be rolled out to warn users, who are setting up their AirTAg for the first time, will see a message that the tracker is meant to track their own belongings. The use of AirTag to track individuals without their consent is a crime. Law enforcement can request the identification of the unknown AirTag’s owner.
The company also added that AirTag has a unique serial number. A paired AirTag is associated with an Apple ID. To respond to a subpoena, Apple can provide the account details.
The update, however, focused on iPhone owners. What if the victim is using an Android phone? The safety features of the AirTags are built for iPhones users. Apple did release a Tracker Detect app for Android users to address this issue. However, users need to download the app first.
Apple didn’t mention Google’s Android when it announced the update.