As women warn how Apple AirTags — intended to help people keep track of items they might easily lose — can be used to stalk people, Apple is outlining what you can do to stay safe.
In a series of Instagram Stories on Thursday, 体育画报泳装 模型 Brooks Nader claimed that an Apple AirTag — a button-sized, wireless device that can be paired with Apple’s Find My app feature — was slipped into her belongings in New York City this week. While she was walking home alone after a night out, she got a notification that somebody was tracking her location, and had been “一阵子,” 她说.
“I was at a bar in Tribeca,” Nader, 25, explained on Instagram. “I was at the bar and waiting on someone alone and had my coat on the chair behind me. It was crowded. Lots of people.”
“Then I went to meet some girlfriends at a bar nearby. I didn’t get any notifications. Then I went to the next spot, no notifications. 然后, stupidly, I was walking home alone because I live in the neighborhood. 大约 11:30 下午, I was already on my walk home when I got the notifications that said someone is tracking you and has been for a while,” 她继续. “So I freaked out. 接着, 当然, my phone died.”
根据 早安美国, she received the following notifications: “unknown accessory detected,” “this item has been moving with you for awhile” 和 “the owner can see its location.”
Nader shared that prior to her experience, 她 “had no idea” Apple AirTags even existed.
“So I’m kind of just trying to raise awareness and tell all my ladies out there to watch your belongings, look out for the notification,” 她补充说. “The only silver lining is that I actually got notified that someone was tracking me.”
“It was the scariest moment ever. I just want people to be aware that this exists,” 她说.
同时, a Florida woman told NBC station WPTV that she found an AirTag hidden in the back of her car, thanks to a babysitter who received a notification on her phone.
“I immediately had all the bad things in my head,” said the woman, who chose to be identified only by her first name, 亚历克西斯.
[object Window], 一种 华盛顿邮报 columnist wrote an article about how “easily” the devices could be used to stalk someone.
In the story, Geoffrey A. Fowler 写了 that after slipping the device into his big, a colleague “was able to find my whereabouts with remarkable precision.”
“When I was riding a bike around San Francisco, the AirTag updated my location once every few minutes with a range of about half a block,” 他们写. “When I was more stationary at home, my colleague’s app reported my exact address.”
Police departments have also been sharing warnings on social media about how AirTags can be used to aid car theft.
上个月, the West Seneca Police Department in New York made a public service announcement after receiving two reports of AirTags being placed in vehicles.
“No crimes were committed against these people after their discovery and there is no need to unnecessarily panic, but awareness of these things is important,” 他们写. “Always be vigilant and aware of your surroundings!”
Investigators with the York Regional Police in Canada also released a video on YouTube following five incidents where carjacking suspects used air tags to track cars parked in public places back to private residences.
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In a statement to PEOPLE on Friday, an Apple spokesperson says that they “take customer safety very seriously and are committed to AirTag’s privacy and security.”
“AirTag is designed with a set of proactive features to discourage unwanted tracking — a first in the industry — that both inform users if an unknown AirTag might be with them, and deter bad actors from using an AirTag for nefarious purposes,” the Apple spokesperson says. “If users ever feel their safety is at risk, they are encouraged to contact local law enforcement who can work with Apple to provide any available information about the unknown AirTag.”
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Apple has outlined a number of features “designed to discourage unwanted tracking” on its website, including an auto-notification that will send alerts if the individual’s phone identifies an AirTag or similar accessory that “isn’t with its owner and is traveling with you over time.”
AirTags that have been continuously separated from their owner will also play a sound when moved. (目前, if the AirTag is within range of whoever registered it, a sound will not be able to be played on the device, per the company’s website.)
此外, with a valid request, Apple can provide authorities with the Apple ID account information associated with paired AirTags.
Apple also introduced Tracker Detect 在十二月, which lets Android users scan for trackers.
As for what to do in the event of finding an unknown AirTag, you can tap it with an iPhone or other near-field communication device, which will then take you to a website with instructions on how to disable it.
More information on AirTags, and what to do in the event of receiving a notification, can be found on Apple’s website.