Social media sheds a light on Apple Airtag safety concerns

Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 10:57 PM CST
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DULUTH, MN. (CBS 3 DULUTH) - There’s growing concern on social media about new technology that helps keep track of your items.

Apple Airtags are about the size of a quarter and are used to track your keys, wallet or even your pets on your iPhone.

It is a tool intended for good, but recently social media has shed light on another potential use.

Recently, similar cases have been popping up across the country, with criminals placing Airtags in people’s cars or bags to help track them down.

A Canadian Police Department even felt the need to make a PSA after tags were connected to carjacking’s in Ontario.

“It seems to be something trending in the GTA as well. So, definitely expecting to see more of it in the near future,” said Jeff McKercher with the York Police Department in the PSA.

Twin Ports police say they have not seen any cases here yet, but Tyler Rikkola, Director of Investigations with Applied Professional Services, said it’s good to be aware.

“This isn’t a new thing. GPS tracking has been around for decades but, with technology getting better and better, it’s becoming more and more available to the public,” said Rikkola.

iPhone users will get a notification alerting them if an unknown tag has been detected.

Rikkola said if that happens, it’s important to try and find it and alert the police.

“Ultimately, you can track someone for many, many days and even weeks or months,” said Rikkola.

And it’s not just thefts; devices like this are also used for stalking.

Advocates at PAVSA said technology that uses your location already poses a risk for victims of abuse.

“It’s already happening, and it’s just kinda a new venue that people can use for location, and we just need to figure out these new ways people access location and how we safety plan around that,” said Carly Hiti, Safe Harbor Youth Advocate at PAVSA.

Rikkola advises everyone to stay aware and stay vigilant.

“With the accessibility of this kind of technology, it is certainly possible for your average everyday citizen to be tracked,” said Rikkola.

Apple recently released an app called ‘Tracker Detect’ for Android users to detect if a tag is tracking them.

You can download it in your Google Play store.

If you are looking for more information about Apple Airtags and what to do if you get a notification, click here.

Placing a tracker without someone knowing is illegal.

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