Apple Air Tags: Can These Be Used To Track You?

Apple Air Tags Can These Be Used To Track You

Apple’s anti-lost tag “AirTag” is useful for finding lost keys and bags. Other uses, such as stalking and surveillance activities, raise privacy and safety concerns. In response to these concerns, Apple released a personal safety guidebook.

Detecting unwanted tracking from others apps is also possible. But Apple has created a similar detection app for smartphones running Google’s Android operating system.

Launched in April 2021, the AirTag is a bottle cap-sized device that supports Bluetooth (a short-range wireless communication standard) and is used to find their lost belongings. Attach the air tag to your wallet, keys, etc. Later, when you need to launch the iPhone app, it will tell you the exact location of the lost item within seconds.

How Air Tags Work

Air tags are small devices with a white surface and a silver back. Uses low-power Bluetooth to provide location. It doesn’t have a built-in satellite positioning system (GPS), but instead communicates with the Find My network of Apple devices — including nearby iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches, Macs, and more.

Tracking Accuracy

The tracking accuracy is very high. If you have an air tag and a newer iPhone model (iPhone 11 or newer), use the Find Precise Location feature to pinpoint the location of your air tag. UWB technology can track air tags to the nearest centimeter, which is displayed as an arrow on the screen. There is no problem even if the object is on a different floor.

Direct tracking requires air tags to be within Bluetooth range. If the airtag is far away, the Find My network of other Apple devices will report its location. Apple says it usually knows the exact street address.

Ways To Detect That You Are Being Tracked

If you’re being surreptitiously tracked, Notifications automatically pop up on Apple devices when an unknown airtag is nearby for too long.

The time it takes for the alert to appear depends on where you are, what route you’re taking, and how long the air tag has been tracking you. If the Find My app network detects that an unknown airtag has traveled with you, it may notify you immediately. If the airtag belongs to someone in your Family Sharing group, the owner’s name will be displayed.

Automatic notification works only on smartphones and iPods with Apple’s OS “iOS 14.5” or later, and iPads with “iPadOS 14.5” or later. If you don’t want to be notified, you can also turn off the alert function of the “Find My” app.

Air tags chime 8 to 24 hours after they leave the owner’s hands. Even people who don’t have a compatible Apple device or an Android device with Tracker Detect installed can be made aware of the existence of air tags this way.

What If You Dont Own An Apple Device

Using “Tracker Detect” for android devices, you can detect nearby air tags. The problem is that everything has to be done manually. Unlike the iPhone, the app always runs in the background and automatically detects and notifies you.

Also, if the air tag leaves the owner, a chime will sound after 8 to 24 hours.

Found An Air Tag Whose Owner Is Unknown. What Should You Do?

If you hear the chime of an air tag or find a lost item with an air tag, you can use an Apple or Android device with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to return it to its owner.

Hold your smartphone close to the white side of the AirTag to see more information. If the owner has put it in Lost Mode, it may have contact information on it.

However, if you find an airtag in your belongings with an unknown owner and it is not listed as lost property, you should deactivate the airtag immediately and contact the police.

How To Deactivate Unknown Air Tag

Once you see the alert on your iPhone, you can disable air tags and prevent location sharing. Follow the instructions on the warning screen, press the silver side of the airtag, twist counterclockwise to remove the cover, and remove the battery. As the battery is removed Air tags can no longer track.

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