Find My app will help users identify rogue AirTags, as Apple looks to address stalking concerns
Apple AirTags have made news headlines for several weeks as more people have reported abuse and stalking after the devices were used to track their location.
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Apple is promoting a new Personal Safety User Guide to address growing concerns of stalking and abuse by people tracking other’s location using AirTags.
The sophisticated high-tech trackers released by Apple, Inc. in April 2021 were first introduced as a handy tool to help users find their lost belongings.
Apple’s marketing campaign for the devices said AirTags could help users locate “keys, wallet, purse, backpack, luggage, and more.” But, what they possibly didn't expect, was for that ‘more’ to include tracking people.
For several weeks, the media reported cases around the country of individuals finding rogue AirTags in their cars, bags, and neighborhood. At a low price of $29, a person can purchase a single tracker, or a pack of four at $99.
In an effort to reduce stalking, Apple published instructions on how a person can discover if they are being tracked in the company’s Find My app.
The guide says that nearby AirTags can be detected through the devices’ built-in Bluetooth that will alert iPhones with an “Item Detected Near You” message. If you are completely unaware of the trackers, Apple says the AirTags start to play a sound after some time.
To access the latest feature, iPhone and iPad owners must be running their devices on iOS 14.5 or iPadOS 14.5 and up.
Apple has also drastically reduced the time AirTags will alert a person if it has been away from its owner. Originally, the company had the trackers set to make a sound after three days, but with growing stalking reports, has since lowered it to 8 to 24 hours.