A new feature in the latest iOS beta shows that Apple is trying to crack down on the misuse of AirTags for stalking people.
Apple’s AirTags sound quite useful on paper since they allow you to track an item even if you are not within its Bluetooth range. However, the tracking tag has turned out to be a nightmare for many and a boon for stalkers, as it allows them to track people without consent.
Apple is looking to change this by adding some new anti-stalking AirTags measures to an upcoming iPhone update, iOS 15.4.
New Privacy Measures Should Curb AirTag Misuse
In an Apple Newsroom announcement, Apple made it clear that the AirTag was designed to “help people locate their personal belongings, not to track people or another person’s property.” With unwanted AirTag tracking on the rise, Apple announced several improvements to the Find My network and AirTag in an effort to curb misuse.
In a future update, Apple will show new privacy warnings to users when they set up an AirTag—the feature has already been added to the iOS 15.4 beta, as reported by 9to5Mac. The message will clarify that an AirTag is meant to track someone’s own items, and using it to track other people without their consent is a crime.
Apple also makes it clear that, at the request of law enforcement agencies, it can share details of the Apple ID paired with an AirTag that’s used for tracking someone without their consent.
Additionally, your iPhone currently shows an “Unknown Accessory Detected” alert if it finds AirPods Pro or a third-party Find My accessory near you. That’s not particularly helpful, which is why Apple is looking to change this. With the upcoming iOS 15.4 update, whenever your iPhone detects Find-My-compatible AirPods or accessories, it will show their name instead of identifying them as an “Unknown Accessory.”
Apple Has More Anti-Stalking Measures in the Works
Apart from the above changes, Apple is working on several more anti-stalking measures, including allowing iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and iPhone 13 owners to find unwanted AirTags near them with Precision Finding. An alert will also be shown on your iPhone or iPad whenever an AirTag near you emits a sound.
Additionally, the company will adjust the tone sequence of the AirTag to play the loudest sounds more frequently, so that hidden tags can be found easily.
There’s no doubt that AirTags make it very easy to silently track or stalk someone without their knowledge. However, Apple clearly realizes this is a major privacy and safety issue, so it is taking steps to refine its Find My network to reduce such unwanted behavior.
Want to attach the AirTag to your keys or wallet? Here are the ways to do that.
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