Apple Responds To AirTag Stalking Cases
Since Apple’s AirTags were introduced last year, there have been increasing numbers of reports of people using these discrete devices to track or stalk others. For the uninitiated, Apple’s AirTags are small tracking devices intended to be used to help users find personal items, such as keys, bags, purses, and other smaller items that may be easy to misplace. AirTags rely on Apple’s “Find My” network, which consists of around one billion Apple devices worldwide, and allows those devices to locate AirTags based on their proximity to other Apple devices on the Find My network.
While Apple has attempted to discourage the use of AirTags in unwanted tracking of other people, that has not stopped some people from using them to stalk others. Apple has implemented software that is supposed to notify you if an AirTag appears to be following you and your Apple device. Nonetheless, there have been a significant number of reports of individuals being notified by their iPhones that an unknown AirTag is following them around, including several in Atlanta.
Following these reports, Apple is now announcing changes to its platforms to provide additional protections against unwanted tracking by AirTags. Specifically, Apple will start notifying users sooner when an unfamiliar AirTag appears to be following them. Apple will also be adjusting the sound that AirTags make to make them easier to find. They may also be adjusting their software to allow tracked users to locate the unwanted AirTags using their iPhones or other Apple devices.
It is not clear when these updates will go live, but for many, it can’t come soon enough. Police departments around the country are already having to investigate stalking allegations arising from the use of AirTags, frequently in domestic relationships. If you believe you have been the victim of AirTag stalking, there are a number of steps you can take. First, you can disable the tracking of your device from your iPhone after being notified that an AirTag is following you. Second, you can report the incident to the police. And third, if you believe you know the identity of the person stalking you, Georgia law may permit you to file for a stalking protective order against that person. If that is the case, the attorneys at Buckhead Family Law can assist you in preparing and filing for a stalking protective order.