January 27, 2022
Apple addresses AirTag stalking worries in its new personal safety guide
Apple launched a "Personal Safety User Guide" as concerns continue to mount over the use of the company's AirTags to stalk people.
Apple says the guide available on its website "is designed to help customers experiencing technology-enabled abuse, stalking, or harassment understand the options available across the Apple ecosystem that can help you protect your personal safety."
The guide includes a section on protecting yourself with AirTags, the Bluetooth trackers introduced by Apple last year to help consumers track lost items.
The guide offers steps on what to do if you encounter a rogue AirTag. The FindMy app available on iPhones will alert you if an AirTag you don't own is traveling with you.
On the Android platform, Apple launched a Tracker Detect app will look for Bluetooth trackers you might unknowingly carry and provide an alert. Also, AirTags separated from their owners for a set period will make a sound to alert others of its presence.
The guide follows recent reports on AirTags and their ability to track people without their knowledge.
According to an December report from NBC News, police in Colorado, Georgia, Michigan and Texas reported AirTags used in domestic stalking cases and to steal cars.
However, a police department in Connecticut told AirTag owners to consider placing them in vehicles so they can track them in case they get stolen, NBC reported.
One woman moving from Colorado to New York credited AirTags for keeping track of her belongings that were with a mover who lied about their location, reports ABC.
Last June, Apple updated privacy measures on AirTags to combat concerns the devices could be easily used for stalking.
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