Upon launching AirTags, in April 2021, Apple focused on the positives of its devices for GPS tracking of any object. But they were immediately hacked. But Apple insisted that the uses they had contemplated were very different. Among all of that, as a way to avoid losing your house keys, car, backpack, or keeping an eye on your pet. I personally put one in the car, in case you didn’t find it where you parked it, or worse, you didn’t find the car at all.
However, despite the good intentions, AirTags immediately became a very dangerous tool for people’s privacy. The possibility of placing a stalker on the person to be pursued is not far off, since these devices are easy to conceal in size and difficult to notice. Only, in January, Apple released instructions and app updates to see if there were AirTags others placed nearby.
Over the past eight months, the United States Police Department has received 150 complaints For the criminal use of AirTags. Of these, 50 were women who felt threatened by stalkers, often former employees. Suffice it to say that in one case a girl realized that someone was following her in the car and found out how she did it: an AirTag was placed in her car.
It should be noted that these reports come from only eight police authorities, out of the thousands in the United States. Moreover, they do not take into account complaints made in other countries where AirTags are sold, such as Italy. In short, the 150 reports only show the tip of an iceberg in greater proportions in theory.
What does Apple do about it?
Apple has faced criticism for AirTags and their ability to use them for criminal purposes, especially stalking. iOS now has a feature that automatically detects unknown trackers. Those who use Android can take advantage of the recently released app, which monitors the presence of AirTags nearby. The app does not work automatically, as on the iPhone, but we need to open it every time to scan, which is not a relief when we can’t imagine someone following us, at any time of the day, with our head somewhere else.
To improve the situation on Android, it appears that Google is planning to add a system-wide location detector, capable of sending notifications in real time. A similar tool for contact tracing from Covid, which was on the contrary half a disappointment.
Apple also promised to launch an accurate tracking feature to help victims track down anonymous trackers. Unfortunately, the news will not arrive until the end of the year and only on the iPhone 11, iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, perhaps because it is based on ultra-wideband technology not available on previous models.
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