Apple AirTags: Reports claim electronic tracking devices are used for tracking, theft

Billed as the new gadget that keeps the public from losing their keys or finding a lost dog, Apple AirTags have quickly become a popular item for the tech giants since they were released. into this year.

Button-sized devices can attach to almost anything via a key ring, and iPhone users can use a feature on their phones called “Find My” that lets them track their location location of the card by Bluetooth.

Android users can download the Tracker Detect app from the Google Play store to do the same.

However, reports suggest that these tags can also be used to track people unsuspectingly, if dropped in a wallet, suitcase or car, raising questions about privacy and security. whole.

York Regional Police in Ont. issued a warning in December about “a new method” being used by car thieves to track and steal luxury vehicles across the region.

“Since September 2021, officers have investigated five incidents where suspects placed small tracking devices on high-end vehicles so they could then locate them,” the statement said. minds and steal them”. “Brand name ‘air tags’ [sic] placed in an area out of sight of target vehicles when they are parked in public places such as malls or parking lots. The thieves then track the targeted vehicles to the victim’s residence, where they are stolen from the driveway. “

Online, Reddit, Twitter, and TikTok users have recounted receiving notifications on their phones for a nearby card, only to find one of the devices in their car or among their possessions.

A Washington Post tech columnist tested the technology’s ability to “track” him by having a colleague slip a card into his pocket – it could show his location. within a half-block radius when he’s out riding his bike and when he’s stationary at home, giving his co-workers the exact address.

On its website, Apple says it has incorporated features in AirTags to prevent “unwanted tracking,” including audible alerts and notifications about nearby tags that pop up on iPhones.

“To prevent being tracked without your knowledge, Find My will notify you if an unknown AirTag or other Find My network accessory moves over time,” Apple’s website says. Apple said. “AirTag that hasn’t been with the subscriber for an extended period of time will also play a sound when it’s moved so you can find it, even if you’re not using an iOS device.”

Apple’s website also offers instructions on what to do if you receive a notification that a card is near you.

If you get a notification that an AirTag is nearby, tap the notification and tap “continue”.

If you need help locating the tag, tap the “play sound” option. This option will chirp from your phone to help you locate the tag between your belongings or nearby.

Apple says that if the AirTag is from a lost item or from an item you’re borrowing, users can tap “Pause Safety Alerts” to turn off the notification, or “learn about this AirTag” to see the serial number its ri and the owner has marked it as lost.

If you get an “item detected” message and you don’t have an AirTag or haven’t borrowed anything with it, it could be because an AirTag has been dropped on your belongings.

Apple’s website says to follow the onscreen instructions to disable AirTag’s ability to share your location, and “if you feel your safety is in jeopardy, contact law enforcement.” local laws” and “review your belongings to try and find it.”

However, if the AirTag is in range of the registered person, the user will not be able to use the “play sound” option to try and find it.

In an emailed statement to on Tuesday, an Apple spokesperson said the company takes safety very seriously and is “committed to AirTag’s privacy and security.”

“AirTag is designed with a set of proactive features to prevent unwanted tracking – an industry first – both to notify users if an unknown AirTag may be with them, and at the same time prevent bad actors from using AirTag for nefarious purposes,” the statement said. “If users feel their safety is at risk, they are encouraged to contact local law enforcement, who may work with Apple to make any information available about it.” AirTag unknown.”

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. Copyright Registered. Apple AirTags: Reports claim electronic tracking devices are used for tracking, theft

Dais Johnston

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