Apple Update To Stop Stalkers From Exploiting AirTags

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Tech giant Apple, Inc’s (AAPL)latest gadget, AirTag has come under a lot of criticism after people started reporting that stalkers are using the accurate navigation of the device to cause follow individuals. However, the maker has taken another step to stop the malpractitioners from making wrong use of the gadget.

“AirTag was designed to help people locate their personal belongings, not to track people or another person’s property, and we condemn in the strongest possible terms any malicious use of our products,” Apple said.

Now the company is working on an update to make anyone aware if an unwanted AirTag is tracking their location. The feature had been present in the device since last year but the alert system, which should start beeping after 24 hours have been reported to take much more than that in multiple instances. However, with the new update, the software will have “precision finding”.

According to the company, the feature “allows recipients of an unwanted tracking alert to locate an unknown AirTag with precision. iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and iPhone 13 users will be able to use Precision Finding to see the distance and direction to an unknown AirTag when it is in range. As an iPhone user moves, Precision Finding fuses input from the camera, ARKit, accelerometer, and gyroscope to guide them to the AirTag through a combination of sound, haptics, and visual feedback.”

The new update will also show a warning sign to the users to make them aware that stalking is illegal and using the device the stalk will create legal issues for them. Apart from these, instead of showing “Unknown Accessory Detected” in case of a foreign accessory being in proximity, the iPhones will mention the accessory. The company updated its support article with “additional explanations of which Find My accessories may trigger an unwanted tracking alert, more visuals to provide specific examples of such alerts, and updated information on what to do after receiving an alert, including instructions for disabling an AirTag.”

The iPhone maker also said that it is collaborating with the law enforcement to punish the miscreants. “Every AirTag has a unique serial number, and paired AirTags are associated with an Apple ID. Apple can provide the paired account details in response to a subpoena or valid request from law enforcement. We have successfully partnered with them on cases where the information we provided has been used to trace an AirTag back to the perpetrator, who was then apprehended and charged.”

The update is supposed to roll out later this year. However, the Find My app is still iOS only, and therefore android users are still exposed to threats from thieves and stalkers.

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