Technological innovations arrived to facilitate the processes, jobs and actions present in the daily life of the human being. It is not the fault of the device, software, or appliance that there are people taking advantage of a feature to perform illegal behaviour. But unfortunately, it happens, it is a matter of great care and has to be handled very delicately by the developers.
This is precisely what is happening with Apple’s AirTags. In the United States, there are multiple reports; enough to set off the alarms of the security authorities, of subjects who use the device to track other people.
The concept of AirTags is very simple. Apple made a small, coin-sized device that you can attach to your items to track them when they go missing. It’s perfect for attaching to the house or car keys but can go on anything.
It works with an app that you download from the App Store itself. And when you lose an object, you simply enter the program and activate it to be able to keep track of what was lost.
For it to work on your cell phone, you need to pair the AirTag with the device. However, when your cell phone detects another one nearby, the device emits a sound to ask you if you want to pair. However, the little device is being used to track people without their consent, a clear case of harassment.
“If you’ve created an article that’s useful for tracking stolen items, then you’ve also created a perfect tool for stalking,” Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the BBC.
Can you detect that you are being tracked?
The answer to this delicate question is yes. But it may be too late to know if you are being harassed. Apple explains that an AirTag will beep between 8 and 24 hours after a moving device with an unregistered phone is detected. However, they detail that later it is very easy to register it to deactivate it.
That happened to Anna Mahaney, a 23-year-old citizen who came from Georgia, United States. The young woman went to a shopping center and after hearing the sound she realized that she was being tracked by an unknown device.
“I was pretty scared and tried to disable it. Every time she did, she said that she couldn’t connect to the server”. she told her. Then she went to an Apple Store branch and the suggestion of the employees was that she turn off the location setting.
He went to the local police station and the agents told him that there was another similar report in the same area. The aforementioned medium was able to contact at least six women who were victims of similar practices and one said that she found an AirTag among her belongings.
Telemundo publishes a note in which it offers details of a complaint by a woman who was being tracked by an AirTag in Connecticut, United States. “The AirTag was discovered in her car. He was in the center console of her and was obviously tracking her movements,” Naugatuck Police Officer Danielle Durette said.
Because AirTags can track any object, Android users need to know if they are being tracked. Therefore, in the Google Play Store, there is an app called Tracker Detect. This program will be able to receive a notification in case an unauthorized device is tracking your location.
Some of those affected suggest that AirTags should be withdrawn from the market until they find a solution that offers full security to people.