Apple Inc. said Thursday it will issue updates to its AirTag tracking devices and “Find My Network” software so as to cut down on crime and misuse.
The Tim Cook-led company said that AirTag was designed to help people locate personal belongings and not to track people or another person’s property.
The iPhone maker said it will bring in changes through a software update to address a number of issues.
A new privacy warning will be added during the AirTag setup to warn users that AirTag misuse is a crime in many regions. This includes tracking people without consent.
The company says it is aware that users have reported receiving an “Unknown Accessory Detected” alert. This alert will not be displayed if an AirTag is detected near the users but just for particular AirPods or Find My accessories instead.
Apple said it is also updating its unwanted tracking support article on its website to inform users about the safety features built into AirTag, AirPods, and Find My Network accessories.
The tech behemoth said it will include links to resources individuals can use if they feel their security is at risk such as the National Network to End Domestic Violence and the National Center for Victims of Crime.
Why It Matters
Apple said it is also looking into a series of updates, which it plans to introduce later in 2022.
These updates include precision finding, which will allow recipients of an unwanted tracking alert to locate an unknown AirTag with precision.
Other updates in the work include display alert with sound to indicate the presence of an AirTag, refinement of unwanted tracking alert logic, and turning AirTag’s sound so as to emit loudest tones to make an unknown AirTag easily findable.
Apple disclosed that it had been actively working with law enforcement on AirTag related requests and has “successfully partnered” with them on cases.
In the past, there have been instances where people have used AirTags beyond their intended purpose. Recently, an army wife used one to track an errant mover. A car owner managed to track his stolen car even after the thief tossed away an attached AirTag.
By Shivdeep Dhaliwal
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