AirTags were invented by Apple in 2021 as a tracker to locate a person’s personal belongings, but wrongful people have also been using them to stalk and spy on people.
AirTags can precisely track objects. They use lithium coin batteries which can last up to a year without replacements. Even though this seems convenient, it can also come with many dangers, like creepy people following and spying on individuals. They work by emitting Bluetooth signals to an owner’s device rather than being a standard GPS. Once disconnected, they will automatically play a beeping noise out of the small speaker inside. This noise can also be played if someone thinks they are being tracked to help the person find the tracker. AirTags are 1.26 inches in diameter and 0.31 inches in height, so they can be hidden easily under cars, purses, or backpacks. Apple is working on fixing this hazard by coding the Find My app to notify users if an AirTag is with them that isn’t theirs. And for Android users, they also released an app named Tracker Detect which can scan for AirTags around it. However, unlike the Find My app, Tracker Detect only runs when the app is in use. If a random AirTag is found somewhere, there is also a feature where one can check to see if it was marked lost, or placed there intentionally. This element helps prevent further stalking dangers as well.
Apple is currently working with law enforcement, making and encrypting new safety measures into the Find My app and the law. It is already considered an act of felony. For example, the Find My app notifies AirTag users that the only use is for locating personal belongings, not to track or stalk others and that it is considered a crime to violate these rules. In addition, if it is reported that there is a mysterious AirTag found, law enforcement has the right to ask and find out more personal information about the user.
All in all, AirTags, invented by Apple, are tracking devices where the sole purpose is to keep track of personal belongings, but some bad people think of other wrongful ways to use AirTags. Apple is working to fix all of these problems by making numerous safety features but may have accidentally made a dangerous weapon instead of a helpful tool.