Apple Enhancing AirTags Anti-Stalking Measures With Android App and Shorter Sound Intervals

Apple is enhancing AirTags security to prevent stalking using the Bluetooth devices, Apple told CNET today. Apple is already sending out over-the-air updates to ‌AirTags‌ that will shorten the amount of time before an unknown AirTag alerts you if it is in your possession.

airtag in hand
At the current time, ‌AirTags‌ play a sound after three days of being away from their owner. After the update, ‌AirTags‌ will begin playing at a random time in a window after eight hours and within 24 hours.

Apple is also working to create an app for Android devices that will let them detect an unknown AirTag or Find My network-enabled item that is found to be traveling with them, which will prevent ‌AirTags‌ from being used to stalk Android users.

‌AirTags‌ are designed to play a sound when away from their owner and will also alert iPhone owners if there's an unknown tag nearby, but Apple has been criticized because it's anti-stalking measures do not go far enough. The Washington Post's Geoffrey Fowler in May penned an article that outlined how ‌AirTags‌ could be used for covert stalking, and one of his main criticisms was the lack of alerts for ‌iPhone‌ users.

His other critique was that the three-day sound timer on ‌AirTags‌ resets whenever it's near the owner's phone, potentially allowing for spousal abuse and stalking, so Apple is working to address both of these issues.

The Android app will be released later this year, and the sound updates for ‌AirTags‌ will be automatically applied when an AirTag is near an ‌iPhone‌.

Related Forum: AirTags

Top Rated Comments

Dainin Avatar
16 months ago
These anti stalking measure changes are silly. 8 hours? I leave for the day to work and I’m going to get airtags randomly playing sounds at my house because I’m gone. It was just fine how it was.

As far as the android app, that is great.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
apparatchik Avatar
16 months ago
3 days was perfect, blame the overzealous journalist that over-blow non-issues, as if you could not buy a tracker for stalking purposes off Amazon.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kkspire Avatar
16 months ago

So what's the point of AirTags if all a thief has to do is open up his Find My app and see if there are any hidden AirTags on my laptop that he just stole? And if he forgets to check before running off with my stuff, my AirTag will alert him in 8 hours now instead of give me 3 days to find him and get my stuff back. I thought the whole point was to help me track my stuff, not help everyone else stop me from tracking my stuff.
It’s not a theft device. It’s a location device designed to help you locate wallets, keys, bags, etc around your home.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jarman92 Avatar
16 months ago
Is stalking really that big of a problem that Apple needs to make these changes?
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
omihek Avatar
16 months ago
So what's the point of AirTags if all a thief has to do is open up his Find My app and see if there are any hidden AirTags on my laptop that he just stole? And if he forgets to check before running off with my stuff, my AirTag will alert him in 8 hours now instead of give me 3 days to find him and get my stuff back. I thought the whole point was to help me track my stuff, not help everyone else stop me from tracking my stuff.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
081440 Avatar
16 months ago
This is where over the air updates, post purchase becomes a strange and complicated issue. I don't remember clicking a button that said Apple could reduce the capability of the devices I ordered after I paid for it... Yet are we are - paid for air-tags that now Apple has made less appealing because I have to worry about them beeping, or if I leave my computer bag in my friend's car while at the lake they'll now be notified that I was trying to stalk them or something after 8 hours.

That being said - if someone really wanted to stalk another person, there are literally thousands of cheap devices, GPS locators, etc. available on the web for those interested in such actions.

I also wonder how many people are now inspired to stalk their SO after reading all about these concerns about stalking.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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