Home Latest News An update on AirTag and unwanted tracking – Apple

An update on AirTag and unwanted tracking – Apple

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Text of this article
February 10, 2022
APPLE STATEMENT
An update on AirTag and unwanted tracking
AirTag lets users keep track of personal items like their keys, wallet, purse, backpack, luggage, and more through the Find My app. Since AirTag’s launch last April, users have written in to share countless stories of AirTag being instrumental in reuniting them with the things they value. Thanks to AirTag and the Find My app, a customer who lost his wallet on the subway was able to track it down at a station across town. With the help of an AirTag placed inside a medical kit, a parent whose child lost critical medicine on the bus was later able to find it.
AirTag was designed to help people locate their personal belongings, not to track people or another person’s property, and we condemn in the strongest possible terms any malicious use of our products. Unwanted tracking has long been a societal problem, and we took this concern seriously in the design of AirTag. It’s why the Find My network is built with privacy in mind, uses end-to-end encryption, and why we innovated with the first-ever proactive system to alert you of unwanted tracking. We hope this starts an industry trend for others to also provide these sorts of proactive warnings in their products.
We’ve become aware that individuals can receive unwanted tracking alerts for benign reasons, such as when borrowing someone’s keys with an AirTag attached, or when traveling in a car with a family member’s AirPods left inside. We also have seen reports of bad actors attempting to misuse AirTag for malicious or criminal purposes.

Apple has been working closely with various safety groups and law enforcement agencies. Through our own evaluations and these discussions, we have identified even more ways we can update AirTag safety warnings and help guard against further unwanted tracking.

Working with Law Enforcement
We have been actively working with law enforcement on all AirTag-related requests we’ve received. Based on our knowledge and on discussions with law enforcement, incidents of AirTag misuse are rare; however, each instance is one too many. 
Every AirTag has a unique serial number, and paired AirTags are associated with an Apple ID. Apple can provide the paired account details in response to a subpoena or valid request from law enforcement. We have successfully partnered with them on cases where information we provided has been used to trace an AirTag back to the perpetrator, who was then apprehended and charged.
Law enforcement has shared their appreciation for the assistance we’ve provided in helping them find the source of unwanted tracking. We’ve identified additional improvements we can make in the information we share and the educational resources we provide, and we will be taking action, including making updates to our law enforcement documentation.
Advancements Coming to AirTag and the Find My Network
The following updates represent important steps Apple is taking:
We’re also investigating a series of updates that we plan to introduce later this year, including:

We design our products to provide a great experience, but also with safety and privacy in mind. Across Apple’s hardware, software, and services teams, we’re committed to listening to feedback and innovating to make improvements that continue to guard against unwanted tracking.
Press Contacts
Alex Kirschner
Apple
alexkirschner@apple.com
(408) 974-2479
Apple Media Helpline
media.help@apple.com
(408) 974-2042
Images in this article
Alex Kirschner

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Apple
alexkirschner@apple.com
(408) 974-2479
Apple Media Helpline

media.help@apple.com
(408) 974-2042
The latest news and updates, direct from Apple.
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