AirTags used to uncover fraud in Turkey relief donations

Posted:
in iOS edited June 2023
AirTags and Find My have revealed how items donated by Mexicans for earthquake relief in Turkey were instead resold in Mexico City markets.

An AirTag on a keyring
An AirTag on a keyring
In February

, Apple's AirTags were used to uncover how Singapore's government was exporting and reselling sneakers that it officially collected for recycling. Now in Mexico, journalist Pamela Cerdeira has used AirTags to prove government mishandling of earthquake relief donations.

The donations were intended to help Turkey recover from its devastating earthquakes. But Cerdeira donated two items with AirTags in them, to see whether they even got to Turkey.

Neither of them did. Cerdeira sent rice and a pack of toilet rolls, but not only did they fail to reach their intended recipients, they never left Mexico.

Cerdeira monitored the progress of the items through the Find My app. Ultimately, she saw that in reality the two had been sent to separate markets across the city.

She wasn't able to get access to where her rice package appears to be, but she did get to the toilet rolls -- and used Precision Finding to confirm it was her donation.


Cerdeira has documented the case in a Spanish-language YouTube video called (in translation), "The Business of Tragedy: the groceries that never reached Turkey."

An official, Oscar Gutierrez Camacho, told Cerdeira that the government had nothing to do with the items being diverted and resold. "I have nothing to do with them [the markets], but we [will] gladly investigate," he said (again in translation.)




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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    sbdudesbdude Posts: 271member
    Our suitcases never made it out of the country, either. With all the doom and gloom associated with airtags, there seems to be many more helpful use cases than just stalking.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 6
    maltzmaltz Posts: 465member
    sbdude said:
    Our suitcases never made it out of the country, either. With all the doom and gloom associated with airtags, there seems to be many more helpful use cases than just stalking.

    Not to mention that I've never once read an article where an AirTag assisted in any harm to coming to the victim - and if such a thing occurred, it's hard to imagine it not making big news, being Apple-related.  Only dozens of articles where the victim discovered that they were being tracked by a beeping AirTag and/or a warning on their phone.

    Seems to me they're working as intended.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 6
    chadbagchadbag Posts: 2,004member
    I hope they get to the core of who diverted the products, if they were indeed diverted.  (Meaning it is possible that it makes more sense to sell donated goods and use the money to buy homogenous lots of items prepackaged for shipment across the world — IDK, but unless they can show they were diverted and then sold with the “profit” being pocketed by someone, the mere fact of tracing it to a market may not mean anything.  More deep investigation is necessary.  )
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 6
    looplessloopless Posts: 333member
    chadbag said:
    I hope they get to the core of who diverted the products, if they were indeed diverted.  (Meaning it is possible that it makes more sense to sell donated goods and use the money to buy homogenous lots of items prepackaged for shipment across the world — IDK, but unless they can show they were diverted and then sold with the “profit” being pocketed by someone, the mere fact of tracing it to a market may not mean anything.  More deep investigation is necessary.  )
    Let me tell you about Mexico -that kind of low level corruption is par for the course. As someone who has been pulled over by the police for the explicit purpose of a bribe a number of times.  Suggesting there will be an investigation is laughable. 
    edited June 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 6
    sphericspheric Posts: 2,578member
    maltz said:
    sbdude said:
    Our suitcases never made it out of the country, either. With all the doom and gloom associated with airtags, there seems to be many more helpful use cases than just stalking.

    Not to mention that I've never once read an article where an AirTag assisted in any harm to coming to the victim - and if such a thing occurred, it's hard to imagine it not making big news, being Apple-related.  Only dozens of articles where the victim discovered that they were being tracked by a beeping AirTag and/or a warning on their phone.

    Seems to me they're working as intended.
    https://www.tomsguide.com/news/a-woman-reportedly-used-an-airtag-to-track-and-murder-her-boyfriend

    https://securityboulevard.com/2022/12/airtag-stalking-murder-fear-and-litigation/


  • Reply 6 of 6
    maltzmaltz Posts: 465member
    spheric said:
    maltz said:
    sbdude said:
    Our suitcases never made it out of the country, either. With all the doom and gloom associated with airtags, there seems to be many more helpful use cases than just stalking.

    Not to mention that I've never once read an article where an AirTag assisted in any harm to coming to the victim - and if such a thing occurred, it's hard to imagine it not making big news, being Apple-related.  Only dozens of articles where the victim discovered that they were being tracked by a beeping AirTag and/or a warning on their phone.

    Seems to me they're working as intended.
    https://www.tomsguide.com/news/a-woman-reportedly-used-an-airtag-to-track-and-murder-her-boyfriend

    https://securityboulevard.com/2022/12/airtag-stalking-murder-fear-and-litigation/


    I stand corrected, and it was unreasonable to imply that it's NEVER happened, because of course it has.  Anything that can be used for evil eventually will be, no matter what kind of mitigations are in place.  I can't imagine much more that Apple could to do make it less stalker-friendly.  These sorts of outcomes are thankfully the rare exception.
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