Apple Releases Safety Guidelines After AirTag Stalking Cases

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With the increase in the number of cases of people who were persecuted through AirTag location services, Apple decided to publish a guide on its website that shows tips to avoid these inconveniences. The 56-page document details how to proceed in important aspects such as controlling who can access positioning information and identifying suspicious activities, among others.

The AirTag section cites that the latest versions of iOS send notifications with alerts if the cell phone identifies that an unknown AirTag is tracking the same user paths for a certain, unspecified period of time — some previous reports point out that messages were only shown after five hours of pursuit.

“To discourage unwanted tracking, the Find My app sends notifications if an unknown AirTag or other Find My accessory is seen moving with you over time, with the message ‘Item detected near you'”

Next, the guide gives tips on what to do if a stalker is identified, such as activating the emergency SOS feature that makes direct calls to local services. The preventive configuration of the contacts that will be contacted at these times is also recommended, when it is also possible to activate a feature that makes the AirTag emit a sound so that it can be located more quickly.

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Apple’s statement says that the guidelines will be updated frequently, and reinforces that the instructions are related to devices that have the latest possible versions of the brand’s operating systems – that is, MacOS 12.1, iOS 15.2 and iPadOS 15.2.

The content still delivers information that is not necessarily related to AirTags, such as steps to manage iCloud settings, Apple software updates, Face ID and Touch ID settings, blocking unwanted calls, among others.

understand the cases

The facts that may have motivated the publication of this guide have some characteristics in common. In general, malicious people place AirTags in hidden places — such as bags, backpacks, and even inside cars — and then follow them for a few hours.

One of the latest cases was recorded in New York, where model Brooks Nader was followed as she strolled through bars, but was only notified while returning home. Similar reports have also occurred in other cities in the United States and Canada.

In addition to Apple’s mobile devices, it is also possible to identify unknown AirTags through Tracker Detect, an Android application that was made available by the brand itself at the end of last year.

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