PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Apple AirTag is a quarter the size but large enough to cause serious concern as more and more people around the country discover it is being used for nefarious reasons.
Some people have reported that the device, intended to help people keep track of their keys and other personal items, is instead used to track them.
“I could see on the map, the Find My app, that the AirTag had dropped on the street not far from my house,” a woman from Illinois told WBBM, our CBS affiliate in Chicago.
AirTag combines with Bluetooth on your iPhone to connect to the Find My app and track AirTag’s location wherever you leave it.
To see how easy it was to use, we loaded the device into a KDKA car then had our photographer drive it. Within 30 minutes we received his approximate location and instructions on how to find him.
“The creative possibilities in stalking will increase with technology and time,” said Nicole Molinaro, president of Greater Pittsburgh’s Center for Women and Shelters.
Molinaro said the use of technology like this is becoming more and more common, especially in cases of domestic abuse.
“One in 10 people admit to using some kind of tracking software to spy on their partner or ex-partner, so this is very common,” the CEO told KDKA.
However, cybersecurity experts have pointed out that Apple has several safeguards in place to help prevent unwanted tracking.
“What they’ve been doing for the past few months is now they have it so it makes a sound if it’s been around you for eight to 24 hours. So this nice little sound pings and it plays a nice little music that says: ‘Hey, this is near you.’ It will also appear on your phone and say that an AirTag is tracking you,” said Tom Dugas, director of information security and director of information security at Duquesne University.
And it’s not just Bluetooth devices. People can install apps and other spyware on your own phone to spy on you. The experts we spoke to said the loss of battery life and data could be an indication of this.
Here is a statement from Apple about the misuse of AirTags:
“We take the safety of our customers very seriously and AirTag’s commitment to security and privacy. AirTag is designed with a set of proactive features to prevent unwanted tracking – an industry first – both notifying users if an unknown AirTag may be with them, while preventing block bad guys from using AirTag for nefarious purposes. If users feel their safety is at risk, they are encouraged to contact local law enforcement, who can work with Apple to make any information available about it. AirTag unknown. ”
https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2022/02/03/apple-airtag-raises-stalking-concerns/ Apple AirTag sparks tracking concern – CBS Pittsburgh