A New Concern for Your Safety
Are you being tracked without knowing it? Apple’s AirTags have become a concern after several recent reports of unwanted tracking. Including the latest happening in Disney World to a Tennessee family.
Recent reports of people discovering a stalking/tracking device tracking and recording their movements have brought new concerns for personal safety, especially for women.
After a full day of fun at the Magic Kingdom, Jennifer Gaston’s 17-year-old daughter, Madison, received a notification that an Apple AirTag was moving with her while they were walking to their car. It showed the first destination where it detected her, then it basically draws a line and makes the connections of the points where she had been. As she was refreshing it, it showed the AirTag was still in our parking spot so somehow when we were frantically shaking out clothes and dumping everything out of our bags it fell out.
Other reports have occurred in various parts of the country. Fears are mounting over the device being used to stalk people (women in particular), steal cars, and burglarize homes.
One such report states that a woman received a strange notification on her iPhone while shopping. When exiting the store, she saw two men in hoodies standing beside her car. She went back in and requested a security guard walk out to her car. The two men were leaning on her car but ran away when they saw the security guard. It was unclear if the device was on her or in her car.
In Louisiana, a woman received a notification on her phone when she got home from working a night shift. The device was still active telling someone on the other end her home address, where she worked, and the times she left and returned home.
What Can I Do?
After a woman in New York reported finding a tracking device that had recorded every spot that she had been all that day, West Seneca Police Department in New York issued this on their site:
“The only solution for Android is to download the Apple ‘Tracker Detect’ app through the Google Play store. This will allow you to actively scan for any Apple AirTags near your device, however, it will not passively run in the background or automatically notify you the way an iPhone will.”
iPhones automatically detect the device but it may be hours later before you are notified.
Apple addressed the issue in a statement, saying that AirTag is designed to discourage unwanted tracking.
“If someone else’s AirTag finds its way into your stuff, your iPhone will notice it’s traveling with you and send you an alert. After a while, if you still haven’t found it, the AirTag will start playing a sound to let you know it’s there,”
Apple also stated that they are offering firmware update 1.0.301 to AirTags which will make them louder and easier to locate.
You will need iOS version 14.5 or later to download and use this new update feature. If you have version 14.5 or are up to date, the firmware update should have already occurred and downloaded automatically in the past few days.
Unlike Previous Devices
According to PCMag these devices are unlike previous ones that lost a signal with distance. Unlike the Tile tracker, AirTags can track at much farther distances using Apple’s Find My Phone network AND stores the information in the iCloud.
Officials encourage anyone who suspects they are being tracked, to notify law enforcement immediately.