Have AirTags become a stalker’s dream?
Since their inception, Apple has sold tens of millions of the popular tracking item, ‘AirTags’. Never has it been easier for users to keep hold of items that commonly go MIA, with consumers connecting their AirTags to keyrings, inserting them into wallets, and sometimes even into their children’s school bags.
AirTags are the most high profile of a long list of Bluetooth tracking devices, with the market saturated with offerings from various tech companies across the globe. Coming in at roughly the size of a £2 coin, the AirTag can do its job without taking up valuable real estate in the pocket or bag of its user. An AirTag works by sending out a secure Bluetooth signal that can be detected by nearby Apple devices using the ‘Find My’ network.
On the surface, AirTags, and many other Bluetooth tracking devices are revolutionary items that reduce the risk of misplacing common everyday belongings. They have become invaluable for millions around the world, often used to check in on luggage during international travel. However, do they have a more sinister use that some remain unaware of?
Modern Bluetooth tracking devices are incredibly precise, often able to track items down to within roughly an inch, it is this accuracy combined with their compact size that enables them to be used as sophisticated tracking items, readily available to purchase online.
On 5th September 2022, a Welsh man pleaded guilty to stalking his ex-partner by gluing an AirTag to the bumper of her car. It is part of a worrying and growing trend of current, and ex-partners using these devices to keep track of their partners every move.
“We have seen a rise in the use of Apple AirTags as a tracking device over the past few months, which is of huge concern,” says Violet Alvarez from the anti-stalking charity, the Suzy Lamplugh Trust. “We expect the numbers to continue to rise.”
Conflict International’s Nat George agreed with Violet; “There are millions of AirTags, and other, similar Bluetooth tracking items already in circulation, and it is no surprise that some have fallen into the wrong hands and are being used maliciously. Apple and their competitors are taking steps to minimise this use, but there is still more that needs to be done to prevent their use as a tool for stalking.”
At Conflict International, we know how distressing it can be to think that your every movement is being watched, and to discover that your personal items are being tracked without your consent.
If you suspect that you may be being tracked by an AirTag, or similar type of tracking device please reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org for a no obligation chat to assess your case and how we can be of assistance.