Apple promises to update AirTags against stalkers, but still leaves doubts

by Jerry

AirTags are the main allies when someone loses the key, backpack and more. Still, the device is being misused to spy on people, entitled to a modified version that does not emit sound. But Apple announced on Thursday (10) that it will update the product to combat stalkers.

Apple’s statement comes after the appearance of cases of people being chased with an AirTag. The company said it is aware of reports of people using the device “for malicious or criminal purposes.” In addition, the iPhone manufacturer has announced some measures to prevent the use of the tracker for these purposes.

Improvements will be routed to the device itself and to the Find My network itself. The list is led by a privacy notice that will appear when setting up a tracker unit. In the message, Apple will report that the product “serves to track your own belongings” and that using it “to track people without consent is a crime in many regions of the world.”

Also, there will be some changes to the AirPods. The update has to do with reports that the “Unknown accessory detected” notification appeared when some third-party Find My network accessory was nearby. Thus, the warnings will inform you that there is an AirPods near the user, not an unknown item.

The support documentation on unwanted tracking has also been updated. According to Apple, the page now includes additional explanations about which Find My accessories might trigger an unwanted alert. In addition, there are more visuals to give examples of warnings, including instructions for disabling an AirTag, AirPods, and other accessories.

Unknown AirTags will have improved tracking
Apple wants to implement other new features later this year. This is the case for a function to find an unknown AirTag accurately by an iPhone 11 or newer. iPhone, iPad, and iPad Touch will also issue a notification when it detects the presence of a tracker in the same condition to make it easier to search for the device.

The effort will be routed to the unwanted trace alert logic. According to Apple, the system will be updated to notify people in advance if an unknown Find My network accessory or accessory is traveling with them. Users will also be able to set higher tones to make the crawler more easily localizable.

Apple also pointed out that when it receives demands on stalking cases, it actively works with public safety agents. “Based on our knowledge and discussions with law enforcement authorities, incidents of AirTag misuse are rare,” they said.

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