Apple reveals further details about AirTag's anti-stalking feature

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 57
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,804member
    clexman said:
    The anti-stalking “feature” is going to kill these for so many people. Like many parents, I’d love to add one to my kids backpack and a zillion other things, but teachers are going to get annoyed when these are beeping in class and alerting their phones constantly.

    I foresee many firmware updates to improve these “features” in the future. Hopefully they work good in the real world, but there are going to be a ton of positive and negative stories. 

    Shouldn't be a problem if the kid's phones are tied to your Apple ID and they're access is through Family sharing.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 22 of 57
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,267member
    rynoyes said:
    Hum.....so if someone stole like a bicycle with an AirTag and they had an iPhone, would they “receive a notification that an unknown AirTag has been following them”?
    Yeah and they would find the air tag and chunk it in the trash.  So it’s useless.  Just use a tile.
    It’s not useless. AirTags are not anti-theft devices. Until you realize this you won’t see the usefulness. 

    As someone who loses things (I leave stuff places), I see value in them. 
    Well, also, they don't make the sound until the item has been gone for about three days. I would imagine a significant percentage of the time, owners realize an item's been stolen long before that. In those cases, the item has been tracked and the police called long before the the thief realizes they're being tracked. Same goes for the concern about annoying teachers by sending kids to school attached to one of these things. If it starts beeping, the teacher probably ought to be alerted, because that kid will have been abandoned for three days.
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 57
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,938member
    After watching the demos and reading the reviews I think the value of these is significantly heightened when you have a phone with the U1 chip. Hey, maybe this will provide a little nudge for me to move on from what I thought was a no-compromise iPhone Xs Max to an iPhone 13. Funny how this seems to happen to those of us who love gadgets. There's always a point where we just need one more little thing to push us over the edge ... damn you Apple. ;)  
    tokyojimuroundaboutnowpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 57
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,267member
    Also, watch this space for the inevitable story when someone uses one of these things to quickly recover a Stradivarius left in the back of a taxi. 

    If it's not already available, the above makes me think there will quickly be an option for an immediate alert should a tag move more than a set distance from the associated phone. This would be ideal for Strad owners as well as parents of small children. Every parent has had that moment of panic in a mall or somewhere. Imagine if that moment of panic was supplanted by a ping and an arrow pointing over that way.
    muthuk_vanalingamtokyojimuroundaboutnowfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 57
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,108member
    I would like them to solve for antitheft use-case as well. Would love to be able to hide a tag in my bicycle, motorcycle and panniers. Living in the PNW there's a lot of theft, so leaving my bike to go for a walk is a risk, airtags would've been the perfect solution.
    mpw_amherstbeowulfschmidtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 57
    NumNutsNumNuts Posts: 33member
    “If the AirTag owner is apart from their device for around three days, the AirTag will make a sound. 
    The idea is that the sound will alert a non-iPhone user to the existence of the tracking device, and hopefully help them locate it.”

    This is the bit that I don’t quite understand. 

    1. As an anti-stalking measure, it’ll still allow non-iPhone users to be tracked/stalked for 3 days before alerting them? 

    2. If I attach this to something that I only occasionally use and don’t have near me - such as my bicycle in the bike compound in work - it’ll start continuously beeping after 3 days?  

    Am I misunderstanding it? 🤔 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 27 of 57
    rynoyes said:
    Hum.....so if someone stole like a bicycle with an AirTag and they had an iPhone, would they “receive a notification that an unknown AirTag has been following them”?
    Yeah and they would find the air tag and chunk it in the trash.  So it’s useless.  Just use a tile.
    This is a terrible take.

    The notification wouldn’t happen for 3 days, so someone who has stolen your bike wouldn’t be alerted to the presence of your AirTag until then.

    But this  completely obscures the point: This isn’t a $29 LoJack, it is a widget for finding misplaced items. The fact that Apple thought through the potential for abuse of the locator means this is more valuable—not less—than a Tile locator.

    In addition, Tile has never lived up to the potential it held since its crowdfunded origin. Tile depends upon a built base of users to get notifications of lost items. AirTags steps into the arena with 1 billion potential assistants to locate an item attached to an AirTag.

    I’ve used Tile for years, but I am done with mediocre results with lost items. If you’re happy with Tile, god bless you. I am using AirTags when they become available until such time as I am as disappointed with them as I am with Tile.
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 57
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,267member
    I would like them to solve for antitheft use-case as well. Would love to be able to hide a tag in my bicycle, motorcycle and panniers. Living in the PNW there's a lot of theft, so leaving my bike to go for a walk is a risk, airtags would've been the perfect solution.
    Again, the tag only makes an alert sound three days after it's separated from the associated iPhone. So for $29, this would probably go a long way to solving the situation you just described. Unless you get really, really lost when you leave your bike to go for a walk, if it's missing when you get back, you've got ample time to track it before the thief gets an alert to let him know the jig is up. 
    radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 57
    NumNuts said:
    “If the AirTag owner is apart from their device for around three days, the AirTag will make a sound. 
    The idea is that the sound will alert a non-iPhone user to the existence of the tracking device, and hopefully help them locate it.”

    This is the bit that I don’t quite understand. 

    1. As an anti-stalking measure, it’ll still allow non-iPhone users to be tracked/stalked for 3 days before alerting them? 

    2. If I attach this to something that I only occasionally use and don’t have near me - such as my bicycle in the bike compound in work - it’ll start continuously beeping after 3 days?  

    Am I misunderstanding it? 🤔 

    Yes you are misunderstanding it. The beeping would only happen if the bike was being moved. It it is stationary then the assumption is that it isn't being used to track someone as people tend not hold still for three days straight. 
  • Reply 30 of 57
    @Happy_Noodle_Boy Thanks! But presumably the first scenario still applies so? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 57
    nicholfdnicholfd Posts: 706member
    rynoyes said:
    martinp13 said:
    Will an AirTag unpair when the battery is removed?
    Is the battery even replaceable? Or do you have to buy a new one every year.  
    It won't unpair when the battery is removed/replaced - read the article!  It can only be unpaired by the device it is paired with.

    Read the other articles or Apple's web site - the battery is user replaceable.  
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 57
    "If you're being tracked you could contact law enforcement," continues Drance. The owner of an AirTag can be identified by Apple when authorities request it.


    That is genius considering that other geniuses defund law enforcement. Consider it non-action by police as they have better things to do than respond to some calls based on fancy tracking devices. That is not LoJack service. Sorry. Mark my words.
  • Reply 33 of 57
    rynoyes said:
    Hum.....so if someone stole like a bicycle with an AirTag and they had an iPhone, would they “receive a notification that an unknown AirTag has been following them”?
    Yeah and they would find the air tag and chunk it in the trash.  So it’s useless.  Just use a tile.
    It’s not useless. AirTags are not anti-theft devices. Until you realize this you won’t see the usefulness. 

    As someone who loses things (I leave stuff places), I see value in them. 
    Yes then buy blutooth/wifi/gps tracker device on Amazon. Everybody who carries valuables in luggage as well as locked firearms uses that to track where it is even in airport or even in remote places. We used simple devices like that 10 years ago to find keys and documents.

    So this is useless in terms of preventing tracking and tracking itself as no innovation.
  • Reply 34 of 57
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,023member
    omasou said:
    I'm a bit more confused.

    Apple thought of a use case, I hadn't. That someone might try to add an AirTag to you or something you own to track you and would warn you and play a sound. That's good.

    But it doesn't answer the question about what if I have an AirTagged item stolen. Will it warn people nearby that my AirTag is hiding in the stolen item?

    I foresee a large or large number of knowledge base articles arriving with the release of the AirTags. :)
    Your question is answered in the article. 

    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 35 of 57
    flydogflydog Posts: 1,023member

    Ooh, I got another privacy concern....saw this on macrumors 

    “If you come across a lost AirTag, or if someone comes across your lost AirTag, it can be scanned with any smartphone that's equipped with NFC to bring up contact information.”

    So if you wanted to know the contact info a person you like....then you could scan their keys, bicycles, or whatever exposed AirTag that is left alone?
    What it actually says is, "You can also set it so someone can get your contact info by tapping your AirTag with an NFC-capable smartphone."
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 36 of 57
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,402moderator
    There’s a use case within that three day stalking window that, while unethical, is certainly feasible.   Your partner, I’ll use girlfriend as that’s my situation...  your girlfriend goes out occasionally for a girls’ night out and returns home well past midnight.  You become suspicious so tag her handbag or even car before she goes out.  Then, a few times during the evening you search for that air tag.  She’s not going to get alerted, but you’ll know if she’s no longer at the restaurant or club she claims the girls frequent.  You’ll potentially even know the hotel or residential address where she went, assuming she’s cheating.  And she’ll be back within 24 hours, or less if she’s trying to cover her tracks; she’s not likely to not come home for three days.   
    edited April 22 lostkiwibeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 37 of 57
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 2,653member
    I'm glad people are finally discussing the issues. As I've said before, once people start to understand how it works there will be some pushback. It's inevitable that some governments in the world might make AirTags and their competitors illegal, perhaps even citing "national security concerns." And some of those countries may introduce their own "legal" Tag technology, which will allow users to do much the same thing but will also allow the government to track the Tag itself. These governments could also build detectors in busy public places to detect and confiscate non-approved Tags.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 38 of 57
    WTHWTH Posts: 25member
    AppleZulu said:

    Again, the tag only makes an alert sound three days after it's separated from the associated iPhone. So for $29, this would probably go a long way to solving the situation you just described. Unless you get really, really lost when you leave your bike to go for a walk, if it's missing when you get back, you've got ample time to track it before the thief gets an alert to let him know the jig is up. 
    Unfortunately, the 3 day limit only applies if the thief doesn't have an iPhone.  It's a failsafe for Android users.  From the article:

    "If you’re an iPhone owner running iOS 14.5 or later and someone slips an AirTag into your possession in secret in order to track your movements, your iPhone will warn you this has happened by sending you an “AirTag Found Moving With You” notification. This notification will appear only when an AirTag is following you that is not paired with your Apple ID or another iPhone that is in your vicinity. That distinction is critical so that your iPhone won’t be notified of AirTags that, for instance, belong to other people on the same bus you’re riding. The notification will appear courtesy of the Find My app when the user arrives home–as defined by the address in their contacts “Me” card or if using significant locations. Tapping the notification will take you to the Find My app, where you can tell the AirTag that has been slipped into your possession to emit a sound so you can locate it."

    So if someone steals your bike or car or any of your possessions that contain an AirTag, he or she will be notified by Apple the moment they get home with their loot, and Apple will very helpfully show them exactly where it is hidden.  Basically the AirTag is next to useless as an anti-theft device.  In fact it is worse than useless, as the thief can immediately toss it into a passing truck or bus or taxi and send the owner off on a wild goose chase.

    At this point I can only hope that Tile's next series of trackers will be integrated into the "Find My" system, and will actually be useful as an anti-theft device.
  • Reply 39 of 57
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,600member
    Such a bummer that air tags can’t be used for anti-theft. That was the killer app. 
    beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 40 of 57
    There are some very sad members of the He-Man Woman Haters Club working through their social awkwardness in this thread.

    Deeply detailed date rape/cheating girlfriend scenarios are reminiscent of OJ’s famous “if I had killed Nicole, this is how I would have done it” musings.
    watto_cobra
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