Apple plans to update AirTag due to concerns over unwanted tracking

Cupertino, California - Apple has announced plans to update its AirTag tracking devices and the Find My network linked to it following concerns over the button-sized devices being used for unwanted tracking.

AirTags are supposed to help you, scatterbrain, keep track of your stuff.
AirTags are supposed to help you, scatterbrain, keep track of your stuff.  © Collage: Apple

Apple said in a statement on February 10 that, based on its own knowledge and discussions with law enforcement, incidents of AirTag misuse were rare but that "each instance is one too many."

The company condemned any "malicious use of our products" in the "strongest possible terms" and has now published plans to update the devices and the Find My app used to locate them, including adding new privacy warnings during set-up reminding users that tracking people without consent is a crime in many places.

The company also confirmed it has identified "additional improvements" it can make in helping law enforcement on AirTag-related requests.

In addition, Apple said it was looking into a new precision finding feature that would enable people to locate unknown AirTags with precision and tuning the sound of the unwanted tracking alert tone to make the device more easily findable.

"We’ve become aware that individuals can receive unwanted tracking alerts for benign reasons, such as when borrowing someone’s keys with an AirTag attached, or when travelling in a car with a family member’s AirPods left inside," the company said in a statement.

"We also have seen reports of bad actors attempting to misuse AirTag for malicious or criminal purposes."

It added: “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."

AirTags were launched in April 2021 as a new technical means of helping users track personal items through the Find My app, by attaching an AirTag to objects such as keys, wallets, and bags.

Cover photo: Collage: Apple

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