iOS 14.5 Beta 3 Includes 'Item Safety Feature' for AirTags and Other Tracked Items to Help Prevent Stalking
iOS and iPadOS 14.5 beta 3 includes a new "Item Safety Feature" that helps prevent someone from stalking or tracking you with item trackers such as AirTags.
The new toggle was higlighted by 9to5Mac contributor and developer Benjamin Mayo, who explains that with the feature toggled on, your iPhone will notice that someone has placed an AirTag or other Find My-compatible item tracker in your possession and prevent your location from being shared. If you attempt to turn the toggle off, the Find My app warns you that by doing so, "the owner of an unknown item will be able to see your location."
The prompt states that with the toggle off, your iPhone will no longer send you notifications if an unknown item is found moving with you. iOS 14.5 beta 3, released this week, includes a new Items tab within the Find My app, which is primarily expected to be the home of Apple's upcoming AirTags item tracker.
MacRumors contributor Steve Moser last year discovered code within iOS 14.3 beta 1 that states, "If you feel your safety is at risk due to this item, contact your local law enforcement. You may need the serial number of this item." Additionally, iOS code says that users should learn how to disable an item, which in AirTags' case may involve removing the battery, in order to stop it from transmitting your location.
AirTags have been rumored to be launching for months now, and the most recent hope is that a launch will take place during a virtual event this month. Initial speculation pointed to an event taking place on March 16, but Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that an event on March 16 won't happen.
A date for the potential event is unknown, but March 23 and March 30 appear to be reasonable guesses based on Apple's preference for Tuesday events and Apple's comments that its App Tracking Transparency requirement that's being finalized in iOS 14.5 will launch in "early spring."