AirTag misuse prompts Apple to announce updates
The move comes amid fears the tracking tool could have been used for stalking.
Even though the device was originally meant to help users locate lost items, the button-sized gadget appeared in several creepy stalking stories. For example, in one case, a woman found an AirTag attached inside a wheel well.
In the latest update to AirTag's policy, Apple aims to create a proactive system to alert users of unwanted tracking.
"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," reads the statement.
To prevent misuse, Apple said users would be prompted it's illegal to track people upon the first installation of the tracking tool. The company also said users would be alerted earlier if an unknown AirTag moves with them.
The upcoming software update will allow users of iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and iPhone 13 to use Precision Finding to see the distance and direction to an unknown AirTag.
The update will also allow triggering a sound alert on a device that is traveling with the tracking tool. At the moment, it was only possible to trigger a sound on an AirTag, but threat actors could deactivate speakers to mute the alert.
The company also said it was cooperating with law enforcement agencies to counter the misuse of its devices.
Since Every AirTag has a unique serial number and paired AirTags are associated with an Apple ID, it's possible to track the device's owner.
"We have successfully partnered with them [law enforcement] on cases where information we provided has been used to trace an AirTag back to the perpetrator, who was then apprehended and charged," the company said.
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