HomeTechApple publishes AirTag 'Personal Safety User Guide' amid stalking fears

Apple publishes AirTag ‘Personal Safety User Guide’ amid stalking fears

AirTags are small, coin-like tracking devices launched by Apple last year (Getty)

Tech giant Apple has quietly published a safety guide for its new AirTag tracking gadgets.

The tiny, coin-like devices act as trackers for keeping tabs on things like keys, wallets and backpacks.

They cost £29 each or £99 for a pack of four – so they’re not too expensive to buy.

Unfortuantely, that has made them an attractive tool for stalkers wanting to follow their targets.

Recently, American model Brooks Nader shared with her Instagram followers that an AirTag had been slipped into her coat. 

Other reports have emerged in recent weeks of AirTags being used to track people without their knowledge.

American model Brooks Nader revealed a stranger planted an AirTag in her coat and stalked her whereabouts (Instagram)


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Apple’s new user guide has been created for ‘anyone who is concerned about or experience technology-enabled abuse, stalking or harassment.’

It works as a hub comprising things like personal safety checklists, a list of safety and privacy tools and explanations on how to do things like control location access and block unknown sign-in attempts.

‘Offering quick checklists and in-depth feature tasks, this resource is designed to help customers experiencing technology-enabled abuse, stalking, or harassment understand the options available across the Apple ecosystem that can help you protect your personal safety,’ the guide reads.

‘It includes step-by-step instructions on how to remove someone’s access to information you previously granted—like location data in the Find My app, meetings you’ve shared in Calendar, and more.

Apple published a Personal Safety User Guide for AirTags this week (Metro.co.uk)

‘It also highlights features you can use to enhance your personal safety—like how to automatically let a friend know when you’ve arrived home safely and how to quickly engage Emergency SOS.’

Apple adds: ‘This guide will be updated on a regular basis to provide you with the information you need to feel safe and secure while using Apple products.’

Since launching in April 2021, Apple has said the AirTags were built with security in mind.

The little white-and-silver coins feature an alarm that triggers if the AirTag detects it is moving with a person.

It also pops up a phone notification to the person to let them know they could be being tracked.

A single AirTag costs £29 (Metro.co.uk)


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But critics have said these measures weren’t enough to prevent stalking.

Some reviewers raised concerns the beeping sound wasn’t loud enough to hear over normal household noises.

Jake Moore, the former Head of Digital Forensics at Dorset Police who is now the Global Cybersecurity Advisor at ESET, said: ‘Producing a tracking tool for small non electrical items will inevitably and unfortunately also fuel ideas for anyone wanting to track people.

‘Instead of having to purchase a more illicit tracking tool from an underground source, Apple have packaged this bright and cheap device and offered it to the masses in the hope it would not be abused.

‘Sadly, there is huge scope for the AirTag to be abused and the antidote once again relies on potential victims having to check their own phones to see if there is a tracker in their vicinity which they should be aware of.’

Apple’s guide doesn’t just cover information about AirTags, it also explains safety features around other Apple services, like the company’s smart home tools and its App Privacy Report.

The guide can be found on Apple’s support website here.


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