Apple’s annual spring event took place last week where several new products and features were released including new iPad Pros, iMacs, and upgrades to Apple TV. The presentation also featured the release of a product that has been heavily speculated about for a while, Apple AirTags. These tiny item trackers allow you to fix them to common personal everyday items such as keys, wallets, and purses.
When you misplace the item, you can simply use the “Find My” application to pinpoint their current location. These trackers are currently available for purchase online and will soon be found in stores worldwide. The price of one AirTag is listed at $29, and with a replaceable battery, this gives competing item trackers a run for their money.
However, curious minds want to know what happens when AirTags are not used as intended. Can they be used for nefarious purposes such as tracking a spouse’s current location or vehicle?
The answer is probably not.
AirTags have been manufactured with unwanted tracking in mind. If an AirTag has secretly been attached to your personal belongings, your device will receive a notification stating “AirTag Found Moving Near You.” In addition, AirTags must be registered to an Apple ID when they are set up. If an AirTag is not within a certain distance to a device associated with the Apple ID used for setup for multiple days, a sound will begin to play notifying you of its presence.
In a new Apple Support document, Apple says if someone feels their safety is at risk after noticing an AirTag attached to their belongings, they should contact local law enforcement who can work with Apple to identify the Apple ID and personal information for the individual responsible for setting up the AirTag.
The likelihood of being tracked long term with an AirTag is not high. However, other methods still exist that allow you to be tracked including other types of tracking hardware in addition to unwanted software that can reside on personal cell phones and computers.
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Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology