DAA Daily

Apple is taking steps to prevent AirTag monitoring abuse

By Aryaman Bhatia, Science and Tech Editor, The Pawprint

Apple intends to make a variety of adjustments to make it more difficult to track someone using AirTags.

The button-sized gadgets are intended to integrate with Apple’s ‘Find My’ network to track down misplaced objects.

According to the business, the improvements to the gadget will make suspicious tags simpler to locate and will inform customers early if an AirTag is traveling with them.

A number of women informed the BBC in January that they had been tracked using AirTags.

AirTags were introduced by Apple in April of last year. The little, circular gadgets may be fastened to baggage, keys, or anything else that could be misplaced.

However, the devices may be used to monitor individuals by concealing them in a car or on a personal object such as a purse.

As part of the modifications to make abuse more difficult, Apple stated that when users set up their AirTag for the first time, they will receive a notice warning them that using the device to monitor individuals without their agreement is a felony in many parts of the world.

Currently, iPhone users (and Android users who download an app) are alerted to “unwanted tracking” when an unknown AirTag moves with them.

Apple revealed that consumers will be notified sooner if they are traveling with an unfamiliar AirTag.

While users of iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and iPhone 13 devices are warned of “unwanted tracking” by an AirTag, they will be able to utilize “precision locating” to see the distance and direction to an unknown AirTag when it is in range. Previously this could only have been done by the owner of the AirTag.

Currently, iOS users may send an unwelcome tracking alert to make the suspicious AirTag play tones, and Apple has stated that tags would utilize louder tones in the future to help find the tag.

The business also said that it will expand a function that makes an AirTag that hasn’t been with the person who registered it for an extended length of time play a sound when relocated.

Apple AirTags are quite effective in locating objects. They can locate your goods to within 0.1 feet.

However, because of their precision, they may be utilized as sophisticated tracking tools in the wrong hands.

As the BBC reported last month, there is evidence that individuals are using AirTags to follow others.

The AirTags themselves are new, and it’s evident that Apple hasn’t figured out how to best safeguard individuals.

Apple stated that its products are “built to give a wonderful experience, but also with safety and privacy in mind,” and that it is “dedicated to listening to criticism and innovating to make changes that continue to defend against unwanted monitoring.”

According to the statement, “based on our information and conversations with law enforcement, cases of AirTag misuse are infrequent; yet, each instance is one too many.”

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