Apple: AirTag misuse is 'rare' and bad actors are easily tracked

"Law enforcement has shared their appreciation for the assistance we’ve provided in helping them find the source of unwanted tracking."

From "An update on AirTag and unwanted tracking" posted Thursday on Apple's Newsroom

We have been actively working with law enforcement on all AirTag-related requests we’ve received. Based on our knowledge and on discussions with law enforcement, incidents of AirTag misuse are rare; however, each instance is one too many.

Every AirTag has a unique serial number, and paired AirTags are associated with an Apple ID. Apple can provide the paired account details in response to a subpoena or valid request from law enforcement. We have successfully partnered with them on cases where information we provided has been used to trace an AirTag back to the perpetrator, who was then apprehended and charged.

Law enforcement has shared their appreciation for the assistance we’ve provided in helping them find the source of unwanted tracking. We’ve identified additional improvements we can make in the information we share and the educational resources we provide, and we will be taking action, including making updates to our law enforcement documentation.

My take: The rest of the release outlines three steps Apple is taking in response to unwanted tracking complaints (new privacy warnings during AirTag setup; addressing alert issues for AirPods; updated support documentation) and four updates that it plans to introduce later this year (precision finding; display alert with sound; refining unwanted tracking alert logic; tuning AirTag’s sound).

10 Comments

  1. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    It’s good to see Apple respond quickly, publicly and adequately to concerns of unwanted tracking via Air Tags. Using a digital device to secretly and inappropriately track another person violates their privacy and their rights. This is Apple’s approach to safeguarding personal privacy in a different yet consistent way.

    8
    February 10, 2022
  2. Alan Birnbaum said:
    I guess the NYT is taking a ‘rest’ from reporting on the Uyghur genocide during the Chinese Olympics

    0
    February 10, 2022
  3. Bart Yee said:
    Wonder if precision finding (especially with non-iPhone 13 models) will help find altered speaker-disabled AirTags used for nefarious purposes? It would be nice for Apple to be able to provide the victim with direct ID of the AirTag serial number which can then be further investigated by law enforcement even without the physical tag in hand.

    0
    February 10, 2022
  4. Horace Dediu said:
    Every time an expert complains, a cash register rings.

    5
    February 11, 2022
    • Steven Philips said:
      Yes, it’s a wonderful life! 🙂

      0
      February 11, 2022

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