AirTags Are Linked to Stalking, and Apple Can’t Solve This Problem Alone
Apple’s AirTags are meant to be a high-tech solution to an age-old problem: finding misplaced keys, wallets and other personal items. But since Apple launched the diminutive Bluetooth trackers last April, they’ve also been used for nefarious acts – particularly stalking.
AirTags are button-sized, Bluetooth-enabled trackers designed to help iPhone owners keep track of personal items. Place one in anything from a wallet to a bicycle, and its location appears on a map within Apple’s Find My app for iPhones, iPads and Mac computers – a useful feature if an item goes missing. When an AirTag is out of the owner’s Bluetooth range, other Apple devices in the Find My network can detect it via Bluetooth and relay its location to the cloud. But that amount of precision carries some risks. A wave of reports have shown AirTags being used for stalking and theft attempts, prompting the New York and Pennsylvania attorneys general to issue public safety alerts on Feb. 16.