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Apple is covering its ass by introducing new AirTag safety features

Apple doesn’t want its AirTags to be used by stalkers.

an apple airtag on a keychain
Image: Unsplash

Apple’s AirTags have been the target of some controversies over the last few months. Users have been complaining that the tracking devices are being used for malicious, stalking purposes. The company has responded with the announcement of several new upcoming AirTag safety features.

In a statement on its website earlier this week, Apple addressed some of the concerns that people are having about AirTags.

“AirTag was designed to help people locate their personal belongings, not to track people or another person’s property, and we condemn in the strongest possible terms any malicious use of our products,” reads the statement.

To combat this malicious use, Apple is introducing some new safety features to AirTags. An upcoming update will include new privacy warnings when first setting up a new AirTag. The same update will also feature improvements to the “Unknown Accessory Detected” alert.

Apple uses that alert for AirPods and other Find My network accessories, but not AirTags. The upcoming update will abandon the “Unknown Accessory Detected” alert in favor of more specific alerts that identify the accessory detected.

More AirTag safety features are likely coming in the future

someone holding an apple airtag
Image: Unsplash

Beyond that, Apple is also looking at several more updates that could be coming in the future. It’s adding precision finding to AirTags which will make it easier to pinpoint the location of an unwanted tracking device.

Additionally, the company will be refining the unwanted tracking alert system, as well as tuning AirTag’s sound to help make unwanted devices easier to find.

Speaking of sound, one of the ways that people are tampering with AirTags to make them better for malicious use is by disabling the internal speaker. AirTags will make a sound when they are away from their owners for a certain period of time.

READ MORE: How to locate and disable an unknown AirTag on Android and iOS

Disabling the speaker lets stalkers track someone without having to worry about the device itself alerting the person. That’s why Apple is adding new alerts whenever a “lost” AirTag emits a sound to let people know that it exists. This way, disabling the speaker on the AirTag will be much less effective.

It’s good to see that Apple is being proactive about improving its AirTags. The premise behind the device, being able to track and find personal possessions, is a really good one.

But right now there seems to be too much potential for criminals to use AirTags to harm someone. Hopefully, these new safety features make utilizing Apple’s AirTags much safer.

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