New York and Pennsylvania prosecutors warn of AirTag abuses

Benjamin Logerot

February 18, 2022 at 11:55 a.m.


Apple AirTags test © © Pierre Crochart for Clubic

© Pierre Crochart for Clubic

The Attorneys General of the States of New York and Pennsylvania in the United States have posted on their respective sites a consumer advisory notice to report the use of AirTags
of Apple by sometimes ill-intentioned people. The note is followed by good practices for identifying AirTags geolocating us without our knowledge.

The device of the Apple brand which was to make life easier for its users continues to be used for the purpose of committing crimes, even crimes.

AirTags everywhere, security nowhere?

Following numerous complaints from people who found a suspicious AirTag in their pocket, bag or car, or after receiving a notification on their smartphone that their location was being shared without their consent, the New York State Attorneys General, Letitia James, and from Pennsylvania, James Shapiro, have published a consumer alert on their respective sites.

Last December, it was the Toronto Regional Police who warned of the misuse of Apple AirTags to track and steal user vehicles. The police had done preventive work and had launched a communication campaign to make this problem visible. Here, it is another much more serious problem that is raised.

AirTags can be used by malicious people and it becomes important to be careful. For James Shapiro, it is vital to inform the population and in particular ” women and survivors of violence and sexual abuse who are the main victims. AirTags can be used to stalk and track people, leading to harassment abuse or worse, kidnapping.

Inform citizens of the misuse of AirTags

The prosecutors’ offices have shared with the citizens of their constituency a list of actions to be carried out to ensure that they are not followed by AirTags placed without their knowledge.

  • Pay attention to noises that are unknown: AirTags start emitting a sound when they have been separated from their base connected device for a while.
  • Read notifications that “an object has been detected near you”. Clicking on it will activate the sound of the AirTags and it will even be possible to deactivate it through the application.
  • Since AirTags are not directly recognized by Android smartphones, it is advisable to download the Tracker Detect application from the Google Play Store to detect unknown devices.
  • The prosecutors’ offices conclude by advising not to give in to paranoia and clarify that many of the AirTags detected are simply devices lost by their owner and that if this is the case and the owner has reported it, the notification l will indicate. It is also advisable to read the Apple support page and keep your OS up to date.

For its part, Apple has begun to take measures to combat these harmful uses of AirTags by planning to improve the accuracy of the location of the notified tracker, to reduce the delay before sending a notification or to increase the sound emitted by the object.

On the same subject :
Apple will make some changes to its Airtags to limit surveillance and misuse

Sources: New York State Attorney General press release
, Pennsylvania Attorney General press release

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