New York Attorney General issues AirTag misuse warning and safety tips

New York Attorney General issues AirTag misuse warning and safety tips
Okay, we've been hearing multiple accounts of people finding unwanted AirTags with their belonging, being stalked with an AirTag, or finding an AirTag placed in their car to track it (and possibly steal it), and it has been alarming.

On the other hand, Apple has recently published a new support document, explaining what users can do to protect themselves, and now, AppleInsider reports that New York's Attorney General has also issued a warning for potential AirTag misuse alongside some tips for safety.

Attorney General Letitia James issues guidance for safety from AirTag misuse

The Attorney General has now published a list of things you can do to protect yourself against unwanted tracking with an AirTag. Although the AirTag has built-in anti-stalking protection with a notification and alarm that informs the victim that there was an unknown item found moving with them.

"Across the country, Apple AirTags are being misused to track people and their belongings to cause harm," James stated. "I urge all New Yorkers to pay close attention to their belongings and follow the tips provided by my office to stay safe."

James' office provides also safety tips to people in addition to the warning. Among the safety tips that the New York Attorney General provides, there are suggestions such as: being aware of "unfamiliar beeping", watching for safety notifications on iPhones, and checking for updated guidance from Apple, as well as keeping your iPhone up to date.

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AirTags and stalking concerns

Recently, there have been multiple reports of AirTag misuse that have raised concerns among the general public. The thing is that for the majority of the reported cases, the AirTag fail-safe system which is designed to prevent unwanted tracking was the reason why the people discovered the AirTag in the first place and had prevented some of the crimes that could have happened if no warning was issued.

Despite that though, there have been reported cases, like the one with a swimsuit model who reportedly had been followed across New York bars for a few hours before her iPhone alerted her, where the AirTag fail-safe system didn't ring the alarm as quickly as it should have.

Keep in mind that other item trackers (because the AirTag is basically just an item tracker created to find your keys if you tend to lose them often) don't have such warning systems and anti-stalking measures.

Pretty much, reports about AirTag misuse have been around since the tracker was first released in 2021.

Despite all the concerns raised by the reports though, it seems the AirTag system is quite good at preventing crimes. Recently, there was a case where the AirTag's anti-stalking system was credited for the arrest of a stalker (via AppleInsider).

This case specifically happened after a Pennsylvania woman received an alert on her iPhone that an AirTag was moving with her. She then notified the police after discovering the item tracker in her vehicle's trailer hitch. Then, the stalker got arrested. It appears in this particular case, the stalker had a history with the victim, who had a protection-from-abuse order against him. He denied involvement in placing the AirTag and reportedly deleted the AirTag from his iPhone in front of a police officer!

Meanwhile, Apple has also announced a slate of changes to the AirTags that should cut down on stalking with the device. For example, in case someone files a report with the police for being tracked with an AirTag, Apple can provide the paired account details in response to a subpoena or a valid request from law enforcement.

If you want to check out the other security measures Apple has planned to introduce soon, you can check out our article on it:

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