Apple's AirTag used to monitor alleged illegal dumping of homeless' property

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 4
A lawyer in Portland, Ore., this week said a contractor broke the law when it allegedly trashed a number of items belonging to people living at a homeless encampment. And he has the AirTag tracking history to prove it.

AirTag Dumping


According to a report from the Portland Tribune on Tuesday, Michael Fuller attached AirTag devices to 16 personal items belonging to homeless residents camping in Laurelhurst Park, an area that was swept by city contractor Rapid Response Bio Clean. Members of the homeless community had in the past complained that the city was illegally dumping their belongings during such clean-up operations.

Following the sweep, Fuller in a tweet shared what appears to be a screenshot of the Find My app, showing some of the trackers ended up at what looks to be a waste transfer station. Others were spotted by Apple's Find My network at random locations.

The city is required under Oregon state law to retain property that is "recognizable as belonging to a person and that has apparent use" when conducting such sweeps, the report said. Fuller's tweet notes such items are to be kept for 30 days.

Two tracked possessions -- a painting and a French press -- did not appear to be unsanitary in photos provided to the Portland Tribune and would therefore not be candidates for the trash heap. Fuller in a statement said all items were clean and useful.

"Due to the tracking technology, we have proof positive that Rapid Response broke the law and took property that was perfectly clean and sanitary, and belonged to homeless people, and took them to the dump," Fuller said, adding that he will continue to leverage AirTag and Apple's Find My network to hold city officials accountable.

AirTag packs in Bluetooth, NFC and U1 chip for broad discovery on Apple's vast Find My network, as well as precise locating capabilities with compatible iPhones. It is unclear if Fuller attempted to hunt down the allegedly dumped items using precision finding.

Fuller plans to take legal action against the city if it is unable to offer a reasonable explanation for the apparent dumping.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    This is absolutely appalling. Having worked with homeless people before, they often don't stay in shelters or other places because they've had bad experiences being assaulted in those places, and feel safer out in the open. Or they may have mental health issues that make it very difficult for them to feel safe in homeless shelters. Acquiring new physical goods that allow them to rebuilt their lives or simply continue living can be difficult. It is absolutely insane that the city would hire a company to steal from the homeless and dispose of their property simply because they are too poor to own land!
    jdwfred1twokatmewXedargonautOferapplguyjony0
  • Reply 2 of 12
    jdwjdw Posts: 993member
    It's always awesome when you can nail the bad guys -- in this case the city!
    There clearly wouldn't be "a reasonable explanation," so that legal action probably will take place.
    XedOfer
  • Reply 3 of 12
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,531member
    This is absolutely appalling. Having worked with homeless people before, they often don't stay in shelters or other places because they've had bad experiences being assaulted in those places, and feel safer out in the open. Or they may have mental health issues that make it very difficult for them to feel safe in homeless shelters. Acquiring new physical goods that allow them to rebuilt their lives or simply continue living can be difficult. It is absolutely insane that the city would hire a company to steal from the homeless and dispose of their property simply because they are too poor to own land!

    Most homeless people are men and people don’t give a sh** about men. Let’s not beat around the bush.

    Shelters SUCK. In my city an entire huge hotel was donated to the homeless. What did they do? They crammed all the men in the event center and gave the few homeless women the hotel rooms. 🤦‍♂️ 
  • Reply 4 of 12
    Beats said:
    This is absolutely appalling. Having worked with homeless people before, they often don't stay in shelters or other places because they've had bad experiences being assaulted in those places, and feel safer out in the open. Or they may have mental health issues that make it very difficult for them to feel safe in homeless shelters. Acquiring new physical goods that allow them to rebuilt their lives or simply continue living can be difficult. It is absolutely insane that the city would hire a company to steal from the homeless and dispose of their property simply because they are too poor to own land!

    Most homeless people are men and people don’t give a sh** about men. Let’s not beat around the bush.

    Shelters SUCK. In my city an entire huge hotel was donated to the homeless. What did they do? They crammed all the men in the event center and gave the few homeless women the hotel rooms. 🤦‍♂️ 
    Interesting.  Got a link to that story?
  • Reply 5 of 12
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,462member
    Appalling! But whenever a solution is presented the NIMBY reaction takes hold. Let’s face facts. Society doesn’t give a shit about the homeless. Oh sure, we wag our tongues, wring our hands, feel ‘appalled’, demand action, but then sit back and spread the blame around like peanut butter on a piece of bread.
    twokatmewargonautEric_WVGGwilliamlondondewmeapplguyjony0
  • Reply 6 of 12
    XedXed Posts: 1,028member
    Beats said:
    This is absolutely appalling. Having worked with homeless people before, they often don't stay in shelters or other places because they've had bad experiences being assaulted in those places, and feel safer out in the open. Or they may have mental health issues that make it very difficult for them to feel safe in homeless shelters. Acquiring new physical goods that allow them to rebuilt their lives or simply continue living can be difficult. It is absolutely insane that the city would hire a company to steal from the homeless and dispose of their property simply because they are too poor to own land!

    Most homeless people are men and people don’t give a sh** about men. Let’s not beat around the bush.

    Shelters SUCK. In my city an entire huge hotel was donated to the homeless. What did they do? They crammed all the men in the event center and gave the few homeless women the hotel rooms. 🤦‍♂️ 
    What's the ratio of patriarchies v matriarches in world history?
  • Reply 7 of 12
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,270member
    This is absolutely appalling. Having worked with homeless people before, they often don't stay in shelters or other places because they've had bad experiences being assaulted in those places, and feel safer out in the open. Or they may have mental health issues that make it very difficult for them to feel safe in homeless shelters. Acquiring new physical goods that allow them to rebuilt their lives or simply continue living can be difficult. It is absolutely insane that the city would hire a company to steal from the homeless and dispose of their property simply because they are too poor to own land!

    My own experience working with them is not that they fear anything about the shelters.   Rather that the shelters are limited in how many they can take (particularly in bad weather) as well as highly selective in who they take in.   Most of my patients wanted to get in but could not.

    But, I suspect our differences might be due to regional differences -- including who funds the shelters and how they funded.
    Ofer
  • Reply 8 of 12
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,270member
    Beats said:
    This is absolutely appalling. Having worked with homeless people before, they often don't stay in shelters or other places because they've had bad experiences being assaulted in those places, and feel safer out in the open. Or they may have mental health issues that make it very difficult for them to feel safe in homeless shelters. Acquiring new physical goods that allow them to rebuilt their lives or simply continue living can be difficult. It is absolutely insane that the city would hire a company to steal from the homeless and dispose of their property simply because they are too poor to own land!

    Most homeless people are men and people don’t give a sh** about men. Let’s not beat around the bush.

    Shelters SUCK. In my city an entire huge hotel was donated to the homeless. What did they do? They crammed all the men in the event center and gave the few homeless women the hotel rooms. ߤ榺wj;♂️ 
    Yeh, but I don't find that surprising.   While all homeless are vulnerable and potential targets, a woman living alone on the street is both more vulnerable and a more appealing target than a man.

    Sometimes gender bias is justified.
    It's like favoring seniors (reverse ageism) when rolling out COVID vaccines.  When you have limited resources, protect the most vulnerable first.

    edited August 4 muthuk_vanalingamEric_WVGGOferMplsPbeowulfschmidtsphericjony0
  • Reply 9 of 12
    I feel bad for both sides. I've worked often with our local homeless organizations and meal kitchens and see it first hand all the time. There's very little sympathy or respect for their belongings or space. 

    On the other hand it's hard to ignore the the reality that homeless camps leave enormous amounts of trash and discarded items. Police often have the homeless clear out of residential areas or when they build shelters up against businesses etc. The homeless vacate but piles of junk remain scattered for months. My city (Las Vegas) has homeless debris strewn everywhere. When the city get's around to cleaning up an area I feel it's unrealistic to ask workers to sort through stuff to find what might be worth keeping and then try to find the owner. When they clear an area they always give advance notice and have social workers on hand to offer services. But even with advance notice and help offered an enormous amount of trash and discarded items are left behind.
    columbiaGeorgeBMacjony0
  • Reply 10 of 12
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,732member
    Here in San Francisco, the yearly homeless budget is $750m/year.  Add other donations and that increase to $1 billion dollars per year.

    Let that sink in for a moment.  That's one billion dollars for a population of roughly 8,000 people every year.  We have been paying between $500m to $750m to this money-eating machine every year for decades, and the problem only got worse.  There's a reason why there is so much resentment over the homeless situation here.  For some strange reason, us SF taxpayers are essentially footing the bill for what should be a national problem.  Obviously, other municipalities like LA and Seatlle are about as bad, but outrage over how all that money is being spent with little-to-no results is disgusting.

    My commute has me driving past Berkeley.  One of the most progressive towns in the SF Bay Area.  There are literal homeless towns on the sides of the freeway with large tents completely surrounded by garbage.  Garbage mounds everywhere.  I suppose one can say that one's garbage is another's treasure, but if many of these homeless individuals are mentally ill and can't take care of themselves, apparently some lawyer thinks they are perfectly capable of deciding on their own whether that beaten up coffee maker is useful or not.

    Every so often, the homeless people start a fire and causes a lot of damage to nearby structures and trees.  Not long ago, a homeless camp near my friend's home burned down a communal shed housing all the supplies/equipment/tools used for a neighborhood farm.  This is what many of us deal with every day.

    Many of us have essentially given up on any hope on any resolution to the homeless problem. One can only throw so much money at it before we all say "enough".  Everyone has an opinion, but no one is prepared to make the truly hard decisions to get these people off the street and into housing and mental treatment.  Everyone has an opinion, and in the end everyone yells at each other and nothing gets done.

    This article just reeks of bias.  I read it as that lawyer just want to fatten his wallet with part of that homeless slush fund.  
    edited August 4 DnykjpRfC6fnBsjony0
  • Reply 11 of 12
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 10,270member
    sflocal said:
    Here in San Francisco, the yearly homeless budget is $750m/year.  Add other donations and that increase to $1 billion dollars per year.

    Let that sink in for a moment.  That's one billion dollars for a population of roughly 8,000 people every year.  We have been paying between $500m to $750m to this money-eating machine every year for decades, and the problem only got worse.  There's a reason why there is so much resentment over the homeless situation here.  For some strange reason, us SF taxpayers are essentially footing the bill for what should be a national problem.  Obviously, other municipalities like LA and Seatlle are about as bad, but outrage over how all that money is being spent with little-to-no results is disgusting.

    My commute has me driving past Berkeley.  One of the most progressive towns in the SF Bay Area.  There are literal homeless towns on the sides of the freeway with large tents completely surrounded by garbage.  Garbage mounds everywhere.  I suppose one can say that one's garbage is another's treasure, but if many of these homeless individuals are mentally ill and can't take care of themselves, apparently some lawyer thinks they are perfectly capable of deciding on their own whether that beaten up coffee maker is useful or not.

    Every so often, the homeless people start a fire and causes a lot of damage to nearby structures and trees.  Not long ago, a homeless camp near my friend's home burned down a communal shed housing all the supplies/equipment/tools used for a neighborhood farm.  This is what many of us deal with every day.

    Many of us have essentially given up on any hope on any resolution to the homeless problem. One can only throw so much money at it before we all say "enough".  Everyone has an opinion, but no one is prepared to make the truly hard decisions to get these people off the street and into housing and mental treatment.  Everyone has an opinion, and in the end everyone yells at each other and nothing gets done.

    This article just reeks of bias.  I read it as that lawyer just want to fatten his wallet with part of that homeless slush fund.  
    It's not so much that the mentally ill "can't take care of themselves" but that they can't fit into society and adhere to its rules -- at least not consistently and constantly.   So, if they have a place, frequently they will do ok there for weeks and even months.  But eventually their mental illness takes over and they get themselves evicted.  Eventually, they just give up trying to fit in.

    As for who should pay?   That's a societal problem that plays out in many areas, not just homeless: Paying for refugees is another that plays out in places across the globe In Asia, Europe and the Americas, not just the U.S.

  • Reply 12 of 12
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,093member
    Beats said:
    This is absolutely appalling. Having worked with homeless people before, they often don't stay in shelters or other places because they've had bad experiences being assaulted in those places, and feel safer out in the open. Or they may have mental health issues that make it very difficult for them to feel safe in homeless shelters. Acquiring new physical goods that allow them to rebuilt their lives or simply continue living can be difficult. It is absolutely insane that the city would hire a company to steal from the homeless and dispose of their property simply because they are too poor to own land!

    Most homeless people are men and people don’t give a sh** about men. Let’s not beat around the bush.

    Shelters SUCK. In my city an entire huge hotel was donated to the homeless. What did they do? They crammed all the men in the event center and gave the few homeless women the hotel rooms. ߤ榺wj;♂️ 
    Yeh, but I don't find that surprising.   While all homeless are vulnerable and potential targets, a woman living alone on the street is both more vulnerable and a more appealing target than a man.

    Sometimes gender bias is justified.
    It's like favoring seniors (reverse ageism) when rolling out COVID vaccines.  When you have limited resources, protect the most vulnerable first.

    Thank you. I was just going to write that. 
    jony0
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