Tech

Apple Adds Anti-Stalking Feature to Prevent ‘AirTags’ Abuse

By Bill Toulas / March 5, 2021

The "AirTags" are coming soon as it seems, as Apple is introducing features that concern them in the iOS 14.5 beta. One of these features is an anti-stalking system meant to help the owners of the device identify misuse and abuse and stop it. This will work by pushing a warning notification to “Share My Location,” informing the user that they are carrying an AirTag that isn’t registered to them for a while.

Apple has added this warning system to the general context of “Safety Features.” According to what has been made known, this system won’t only work with AirTags but also with other devices that could be potentially used for tracking someone. Users will have the option to disable this system if they find that it gives them many false positives on devices that they’re using knowingly.

The only downside to this is that if someone uses AirTags on or in an item they want to protect from being stolen, the new feature will actually give the thieves the critical piece of information about the existence of an AirTag. Thus, it would allow them to remove the tracker before the owner manages to retrieve it. Of course, there may be a notable delay before the warning is generated onto the thief’s iPhone, allowing some time for the owner to track the stolen item.

Of course, right now, there are no actual details about how exactly the system would work. There are several scenarios to consider, like traveling with other people on a train, bus, or plane, having several AirTags in range. We’re sure that Apple’s engineers are considering all possible use case scenarios, but since there’s a disabling option, too, that should do the trick if people are overwhelmed.

Finally, as to the question of when AirTags are coming exactly, the answer to that is nobody really knows. The iOS 14.5 beta features tell us that they’re coming soon, and leaker Jon Prosser maintains it will be this month.

The man declares 78% accuracy himself, so you can consider an AirTags launch this month pretty likely. But then again, the same person had announced the same thing for November 2020, so you can get the idea of how this leak system works in general.



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