There have been increasing complaints of Apple’s Airtags stalking of late. Analysis of 150 Police records in the United States over a period of approximately eight months on stalking cases data gives an insight into the Airtag’s inefficiency and glitch. Apple’s AirTag stalking safety measures are effective only one-third of the time, making it almost worse than anyone else.
Apple’s Airtags stalking issue gets more complicated with 50 women out of 150 cases reported receiving a warning on their configured iDevices “someone’s AirTag is following you”. Many of the complaints half suspected that the tracker had been hidden inside their cars by strangers. In fact, almost half of the stalking complaints with the police specifically mentioned an AirTags stalking.
Motherboard report highlights the Airtags Stalking issue on the basis of data it has gathered and analysed. It makes clear the extent of this problem.
What is Airtags stalking issue?
The use of Airtags for stalking purposes became pretty evident since its launch a year ago. There have been increasing complaints about the nature of the tracking device. It has been used to abuse partners, control the movements of people without their knowledge or even carry out robberies. Although iPhone can detect an unknown AirTag but after a certain lapse of time.
Airtags have not used an out of the box idea and technology behind it that has pushed focus to tracking issues. It has used GPS and Bluetooth trackers used by other manufacturers for years. Since Airtags carry the tag of Apple, known for its extra security measures, the news of stalking has gathered mainstream media attention.
Apple has added many “privacy protection” features to AirTags. But anything that can make life harder for those who want to use AirTags for stalking is going to make life easier for thieves. Now AirTags has become almost useless for tracking stolen items. In fact, Apple no longer advertises the AirTags as a tool for tracking stolen items.
Apple has never explicitly expressed its intention to make Airtags stalking feature more secure from the prying eyes. However, it has rolled out updates to make the anti-stalking functions more secure. Apple also released an Airtag for Android app last December to allow detection of an unknown AirTag even for those who don’t use an iPhone. In iOS 15.4 update, a new warning cum disclaimer was flashed that emphasized about the tracker being designed exclusively to keep track of the position of the objects of the user, and not for other purposes.
It has been rumored that Apple will release a series of updates later this year. It will improvise on functions such as “precise location”, “display an alert with sound”, “redefining unwanted tracking alert logic” and “changing the sound”.
It is unacceptable that anyone is forced to feel unsafe and potentially harmed. If a product does this much damage – both physical and emotional – something has to change. Additionally, I care more about protecting people from stalking and physical abuse than I do about protecting stolen property and I think Apple should too.
The internet is of the opinion that Apple should cease selling AirTags. But, that wouldn’t solve much unless Tile and others follow suit because they are not better when it comes to anti-stalking measures. Pulling AirTags off the market wouldn’t mean unwanted tracking would go away — we’d simply just stop hearing about it. There needs to be more conversation and serious steps towards making it less vulnerable and more secure. Continue sharing with us your views on what anti-stalking steps should Apple take to make its users feel safe.