Here's when and where Apple will alert you to an AirTag used for stalking

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 5
Details about Apple's AirTag anti-stalking features are scarce, but the company says its system will alert users that a tracker is moving with them when they arrive at home or frequented locations.

Credit: AppleCredit: Apple
Credit: AppleCredit: Apple


The Cupertino tech giant says that privacy was a key consideration for AirTag. Because of that, the tracking device has a feature that lets users know if another person's AirTag appears to be surveilling them.

Exact details about how the feature works or how often its notifications will appear are scarce. But a Fast Company report indicates that Apple will send a notification that an AirTag is "moving with you" when you arrive at home, or the address stored in your Apple ID "Me" card.

Additionally, Apple's systems will also alert users when they arrive at certain other locations that they frequent. This is likely tied to the "Frequent Locations" feature of iOS.

Users can view their home address on iPhone by heading to Apple Maps and running a search for "Home." Frequent Locations can be found in Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Significant Locations.






Other than that, there's no information about how often or how quickly the anti-stalking notifications appear. Apple declined to provide any further details about the anti-stalking mechanism to Fast Company, citing public safety concerns.

Other safety mechanisms built into AirTag include a feature that plays a sound when an AirTag hasn't been near its paired iPhone for at least three days. All AirTag devices also contain serial numbers that are paired to Apple IDs, meaning people under surveillance could report stalking to law enforcement.




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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    So, I just left my air tag at home next to my wife’s iPhone. 
    I marked it as lost. Then I went shopping. 
    It didn’t turn up until I got home  Not only that, it didn’t turn up until I opened the find my app and searched for it. 
    Totally disappointed. Tile app at least would send me an email to let me know my device we found. 
  • Reply 2 of 18
    XedXed Posts: 800member
    So, I just left my air tag at home next to my wife’s iPhone. 
    I marked it as lost. Then I went shopping. 
    It didn’t turn up until I got home  Not only that, it didn’t turn up until I opened the find my app and searched for it. 
    Totally disappointed. Tile app at least would send me an email to let me know my device we found. 
    Does your wife have Find My installed? If so, was it running?
    gregoriusm
  • Reply 3 of 18
    My AirTag review (as of about a minute of use):
    Looks great. Smaller than I thought.
    Too heavy for use on a drone due to the metal construction.
    There are no flat surfaces so it can't be mounted to another flat surface with adhesive.
    Set up was super easy. You just pull the cover off and hold it near your iPhone and everything is automatic.
    In fact set up was so easy that Tile absolutely has a case. It would be impossible to implement a similar UI without support from iOS that they do not have access to.
    On Bluetooth it shows up as connectable but without a name and no additional information.
    Odd behavior: It advertises itself at full power but when you connect to it, the signal strength varies greatly over time even with both the phone and AirTag right next to each other. This appears to be intentional on Apple's part. However it is the only device which has this pattern of behavior which makes it detectable as an AirTag. Not sure if this is what Apple intended.
    edited April 30 applguy
  • Reply 4 of 18
    Xed said:
    So, I just left my air tag at home next to my wife’s iPhone. 
    I marked it as lost. Then I went shopping. 
    It didn’t turn up until I got home  Not only that, it didn’t turn up until I opened the find my app and searched for it. 
    Totally disappointed. Tile app at least would send me an email to let me know my device we found. 
    Does your wife have Find My installed? If so, was it running?
    Was your wife's iPhone up to date with the latest iOS 14.5? Is she in your family sharing? Do you share your location with her?
    Xed
  • Reply 5 of 18
    XedXed Posts: 800member
    Xed said:
    So, I just left my air tag at home next to my wife’s iPhone. 
    I marked it as lost. Then I went shopping. 
    It didn’t turn up until I got home  Not only that, it didn’t turn up until I opened the find my app and searched for it. 
    Totally disappointed. Tile app at least would send me an email to let me know my device we found. 
    Does your wife have Find My installed? If so, was it running?
    Was your wife's iPhone up to date with the latest iOS 14.5? Is she in your family sharing? Do you share your location with her?
    Oh yeah, you need the OS update. I forgot about that one.
  • Reply 6 of 18
    XedXed Posts: 800member
    My AirTag review (as of about a minute of use):
    Looks great. Smaller than I thought.
    Too heavy for use on a drone due to the metal construction.
    There are no flat surfaces so it can't be mounted to another flat surface with adhesive.
    Set up was super easy. You just pull the cover off and hold it near your iPhone and everything is automatic.
    In fact set up was so easy that Tile absolutely has a case. It would be impossible to implement a similar UI without support from iOS that they do not have access to.
    On Bluetooth it shows up as connectable but without a name and no additional information.
    Odd behavior: It advertises itself at full power but when you connect to it, the signal strength varies greatly over time even with both the phone and AirTag right next to each other. This appears to be intentional on Apple's part. However it is the only device which has this pattern of behavior which makes it detectable as an AirTag. Not sure if this is what Apple intended.
    When you open up the package how do you turn them on?
  • Reply 7 of 18
    Xed said:
    My AirTag review (as of about a minute of use):
    Looks great. Smaller than I thought.
    Too heavy for use on a drone due to the metal construction.
    There are no flat surfaces so it can't be mounted to another flat surface with adhesive.
    Set up was super easy. You just pull the cover off and hold it near your iPhone and everything is automatic.
    In fact set up was so easy that Tile absolutely has a case. It would be impossible to implement a similar UI without support from iOS that they do not have access to.
    On Bluetooth it shows up as connectable but without a name and no additional information.
    Odd behavior: It advertises itself at full power but when you connect to it, the signal strength varies greatly over time even with both the phone and AirTag right next to each other. This appears to be intentional on Apple's part. However it is the only device which has this pattern of behavior which makes it detectable as an AirTag. Not sure if this is what Apple intended.
    When you open up the package how do you turn them on?
    The stretchy plastic wrapper has a little bit tucked inside the AirTag. When you pull it out, the battery makes contact and it turns on. Then you just hold it close to your iPhone and a UI will magically pop up to let you register it. Sometimes Apple really nails it with the UI and this is one of those times.
    Xeddysamoriacaladanian
  • Reply 8 of 18
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 966member
    So, I just left my air tag at home next to my wife’s iPhone. 
    I marked it as lost. Then I went shopping. 
    It didn’t turn up until I got home  Not only that, it didn’t turn up until I opened the find my app and searched for it. 
    Totally disappointed. Tile app at least would send me an email to let me know my device we found. 

    So let me see if I get this right.  You lost your AirTag and found it when you searched for it under the Find My app?  So what is the problem?  The presence of your wife’s iPhone seems irrelevant here.  It wasn’t her AirTag.

  • Reply 9 of 18
    badmonk said:
    So, I just left my air tag at home next to my wife’s iPhone. 
    I marked it as lost. Then I went shopping. 
    It didn’t turn up until I got home  Not only that, it didn’t turn up until I opened the find my app and searched for it. 
    Totally disappointed. Tile app at least would send me an email to let me know my device we found. 

    So let me see if I get this right.  You lost your AirTag and found it when you searched for it under the Find My app?  So what is the problem?  The presence of your wife’s iPhone seems irrelevant here.  It wasn’t her AirTag.

    AirTags are designed so that OTHER iPhones can track YOUR AirTag, though all they’d do is send the location to Apple servers and known nothing else about the AirTag they don’t own. Prime use case is I bought one for my son when he’s  at the neighbors. Assuming they have an iOS 14.5 device that’s internet connected, it’d recognize his AirTag and report it online so that when I check it’d show where he’s located even when I’m a few houses down the street.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    Xed said:
    So, I just left my air tag at home next to my wife’s iPhone. 
    I marked it as lost. Then I went shopping. 
    It didn’t turn up until I got home  Not only that, it didn’t turn up until I opened the find my app and searched for it. 
    Totally disappointed. Tile app at least would send me an email to let me know my device we found. 
    Does your wife have Find My installed? If so, was it running?
    Yes she has it installed. I used her phone to scan my air tag when it was marked as lost but it couldn’t see it. 
  • Reply 11 of 18
    badmonk said:
    So, I just left my air tag at home next to my wife’s iPhone. 
    I marked it as lost. Then I went shopping. 
    It didn’t turn up until I got home  Not only that, it didn’t turn up until I opened the find my app and searched for it. 
    Totally disappointed. Tile app at least would send me an email to let me know my device we found. 

    So let me see if I get this right.  You lost your AirTag and found it when you searched for it under the Find My app?  So what is the problem?  The presence of your wife’s iPhone seems irrelevant here.  It wasn’t her AirTag.

    I thought a lost air tag would connect to any iPhone to update its location. The presence of my wife’s iPhone was for it to be in proximity of my lost airtag so my airtag location could be updated in ‘find my’ app and then I could see its live location.
  • Reply 12 of 18
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,991member
    Some douchebags already install GPS trackers surreptitiously on their children, their wives, their boyfriends, their husbands, their girlfriends, their enemies. These controlling assholes will do whatever it takes to stalk their victims. They’ll find a way to use AirTags too.
    edited May 1
  • Reply 13 of 18
    sirdirsirdir Posts: 123member
    I tried it twice already. the find my network doesn't work at all. My gfs phone doesn't update my airtag's location, not in normal, nor in lost mode. When I tried to 'identify lost item' her phone just kept 'scanning' forever. The whole thing seems to be still very buggy. Hey, it only came 2 years late, so I guess that has to be expected. 
    TechnoTacno
  • Reply 14 of 18
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 497member
    sirdir said:
    I tried it twice already. the find my network doesn't work at all. My gfs phone doesn't update my airtag's location, not in normal, nor in lost mode. When I tried to 'identify lost item' her phone just kept 'scanning' forever. The whole thing seems to be still very buggy. Hey, it only came 2 years late, so I guess that has to be expected. 
    2 years late from what date?  Who announced a date & missed it?  

    Buggy by what standard?  Is it because you don't understand it?
    Xed
  • Reply 15 of 18
    caladaniancaladanian Posts: 260member
    lkrupp said:
    Some douchebags already install GPS trackers surreptitiously on their children, their wives, their boyfriends, their husbands, their girlfriends, their enemies. These controlling assholes will do whatever it takes to stalk their victims. They’ll find a way to use AirTags too.
    Apparently Apple thought about this and prevent this from happening. I can’t see a way to circumvent this. :) …and it there is a hole maybe it can even be fixed with a future software update. 
  • Reply 16 of 18
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,172member

    Additionally, Apple's systems will also alert users when they arrive at certain other locations that they frequent. This is likely tied to the "Frequent Locations" feature of iOS.

    Users can view their home address on iPhone by heading to Apple Maps and running a search for "Home." Frequent Locations can be found in Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Significant Locations.
    I am not following the usefulness of this, as explained, for a person being stalked. What if the stalker is the one who is the "user", and the stalkee does not have "Find My" turned on, or has not installed the latest software update, or for that matter, is, say, an Android user?
  • Reply 17 of 18
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,511member
    Xed said:
    My AirTag review (as of about a minute of use):
    Looks great. Smaller than I thought.
    Too heavy for use on a drone due to the metal construction.
    There are no flat surfaces so it can't be mounted to another flat surface with adhesive.
    Set up was super easy. You just pull the cover off and hold it near your iPhone and everything is automatic.
    In fact set up was so easy that Tile absolutely has a case. It would be impossible to implement a similar UI without support from iOS that they do not have access to.
    On Bluetooth it shows up as connectable but without a name and no additional information.
    Odd behavior: It advertises itself at full power but when you connect to it, the signal strength varies greatly over time even with both the phone and AirTag right next to each other. This appears to be intentional on Apple's part. However it is the only device which has this pattern of behavior which makes it detectable as an AirTag. Not sure if this is what Apple intended.
    When you open up the package how do you turn them on?
    So Apple is in hot water because it is using its own operating system that it developed on its own hardware to make it easy to pair another Apple product?  Tile has a case?

    *rolls eyes*
  • Reply 18 of 18
    XedXed Posts: 800member
    sflocal said:
    Xed said:
    My AirTag review (as of about a minute of use):
    Looks great. Smaller than I thought.
    Too heavy for use on a drone due to the metal construction.
    There are no flat surfaces so it can't be mounted to another flat surface with adhesive.
    Set up was super easy. You just pull the cover off and hold it near your iPhone and everything is automatic.
    In fact set up was so easy that Tile absolutely has a case. It would be impossible to implement a similar UI without support from iOS that they do not have access to.
    On Bluetooth it shows up as connectable but without a name and no additional information.
    Odd behavior: It advertises itself at full power but when you connect to it, the signal strength varies greatly over time even with both the phone and AirTag right next to each other. This appears to be intentional on Apple's part. However it is the only device which has this pattern of behavior which makes it detectable as an AirTag. Not sure if this is what Apple intended.
    When you open up the package how do you turn them on?
    So Apple is in hot water because it is using its own operating system that it developed on its own hardware to make it easy to pair another Apple product?  Tile has a case?

    *rolls eyes*
    I don’t think Tile has a case, but I’m not sure what that has to do with the comment you quoted. 
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