To recall, Apple released AirTags in 2021, Bluetooth tracking tags like Tile and Samsung Galaxy SmartTag. This lets users find personal things like keys, wallets, luggage, and more through the Find My app. AirTag became a huge help to users in searching for personal belongings they value.
Apple plans to eliminate AirTag abuse and illegal activity
Apple’s “Find My” network reaches far more people than any of its competitors. However, there are cases that other users use it for stalking someone or tracking other someone’s personal belongings. Thus, Apple announced that they will roll out updates later this year addressing these unwanted tracking issues.
In a press release, Apple stated: “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. […] Through our own evaluations and these discussions, we have identified even more ways we can update AirTag safety warnings and help guard against further unwanted tracking.”
During AirTag setup procedure, Apple now warns users that the device is only supposed to be used with personal belongings. They will also state that using AirTag to track individuals without their permission is illegal in several countries. Besides, they now also mentioned that law enforcement can ask for identifying information regarding an AirTag’s owner. Apple allegedly complies with all law enforcement demands about AirTags, which Apple claims has already resulted in criminal prosecutions in certain circumstances.
Apple also intends to enhance the “Unknown Accessory Detected” warning that some iOS users may have observed. The warning will not appear for AirTags, just other accessories that may utilize the Find My network such as AirPods. In addition, Apple will change this to display the device’s name in the same release as the above-mentioned setup warning.
Lastly, Apple reportedly working on a set of improvements to reduce various forms of misuse. People will be able to find AirTags from an illegal tracking alert using Precision Finding, just as they can with their AirTags. Apple is also improving how quickly an unfamiliar AirTag or Find My network accessory is discovered when traveling with a person.