Apple AirTags are designed to make your life easier. The disk helps users find their missing items, from house keys to pets. However, the tracking devices can also be used for more nefarious purposes: to stalk people.
The Danger Of AirTags
AirTags use Bluetooth to track the items they are stuck to, synching up with the “Find My” feature on iPhones. While the “Find My” feature tracks Apple products automatically, the AirTags can be used on any items a user desires. The tags use the iOS device network to report on locations, which means they can narrow down the locations more than another tracking device would.
The AirTags can be used on anything, and that includes things that don’t belong to you or worse, things you didn’t were being tagged. The tags have been dropped in purses and stuck behind license plates, all for the purpose of stalking an unsuspecting victim. The location specificity that makes the tags find your objects with such accuracy can become extremely dangerous in the wrong hands.
Safety Issues With The Product
Even though Apple has added safety features to combat this problem, users still have complaints. For example, victims of unsolicited tracking do receive a notification reading “AirTag detected near you,” but some report it taking anywhere from four hours to entire days to get the notification. However, if you don’t have an iPhone, you won’t get a notification at all.
Another issue is the size of the AirTags. Their small size makes them perfect for sticking to household items, but it also means they’re very difficult to find. Victims of unwanted tracking might get a notification telling them a tracker is nearby, but will be unable to find it.
Additionally, victims report a weak response from police. While Apple encourages people to reach out to law enforcement about being tracked, many say that police don’t take the claims seriously.
Apple has added more safety features, including an update that makes AirTags beep when they’ve been away from their paired device for one day. There’s also an app that allows Android users to manually scan for nearby AirTags. However, critics argue that the beeping isn’t loud enough and that the app requires proactivity from users. While the AirTags can make life easier, especially for those of us who are absentminded, there is definitely a level of danger to the product.