Apple Responds to Woman Being Tracked by AirTag, States Improvements Will Arrive in 2022

AppleAirTagResponseJuly2022Featured

Apple responds after a woman claiming an AirTag was tracking her. An Irish actor and writer by the name of Hannah Rose May claims that an Apple Device was tracking her during an after hours event.

According to The Independent, May claims she was attending an event at Disneyland after hours. The event went until 2 a.m. May stated, “I got a ‘Find My’ notification at the end of the night that I didn’t think anything of but opened it anyway and it turned out to be this… someone had been tracking me for two hours.”

Apple Responds to AirTags Tracking Woman

Additionally, the actress and writer took to Twitter to share her story. May also provides a screenshot of an alert stating that an AirTag belonging to someone else was tracking her.

Before driving home, May was able to disable tracking on the device. May also stated that she was with a group the entire time the device was tracking her.

After also sharing her story on Instagram, May stated that she received several direct messages from individuals who have similar stories. On Twitter, her story has seen over 15,000 retweets.

May also shared this advice,

If you ever get a ‘Find My’ notification make sure you open the app immediately as the safety alert doesn’t appear on the screen you have to open the app. Non iPhone users, Apple created an app for androids for this very reason called Tracker Detect.

A spokesperson for Apple responded to The Independent after the agency reached out. The spokesperson directed them to a statement released by Apple in February of this year.

Apple’s statement read,

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.

Finding a Solution

Furthermore, the spokesperson also added that Apple has been working with law enforcement concerning all AirTag related requests, and also stated that AirTag incidents are rare.

AppleAirTagStalkingTwitterInTextJuly2022
A screenshot actress and writer Hannah Rose May shared on Twitter notifying her that she was being tracked by an Apple AirTag. (Photo credit: Hannah Rose May.)

Concerning AirTags, the spokesperson also stated that there will be improvements to the tracking device ready by the end of 2022. New features include precision finding, a display alert with sound, refining unwanted tracking alert logic and adjusting the tone sequence to use louder tones to make an unknown AirTag more easy to find.

As we have covered the AirTag situation in the past, it is interesting to see Apple issue a response. While AirTags may continue to have problems, at least one state is aiming toward making them illegal.

Apple has been working on protecting users. With iOS 16, Safety Check allows users who are at risk of domestic or intimate partner violence to remove access they have given to others. It also gives users an emergency reset option. This helps users sign out of their iCloud on all of their devices, reset privacy permissions and limit messaging to just the device in their hand.

While the AirTag situation may be complicated, for example, more devious individuals are able to modify them to remove the AirTag “chirp”, it seems Apple is doing its best to handle the situation. There are of course instances where AirTags have been quite handy. While the situation remains complicated, it seems Apple is making the right decisions to protect users.

What do you think about AirTags? Let us know in the comments.

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Lee Dronick

They are easy to buy, easy to set up, easy to track, but if they become too easy to spot then the stalkers or thieves will use a different product. I don’t want a thief turning off, disabling, or throwing away my AirTag until I have found my item.

Where was the AirTag that was tracking her? Slipped into a pocket or bag? With one of her companions?

vpndev

My no-facts guess is that it was dropped into a purse/handbag. Into a pocket is possible but few women’s garments have them. The ones that do (think: jeans) are often snug and someone couldn’t just “drop” an AirTag in. It would have to be pushed.

Lee Dronick

Before driving home, May was able to disable tracking on the device.”

I would like an elaboration on “disable tracking”, did she find it and removed the battery?

“May also stated that she was with a group the entire time the device was tracking her.”

Could one of them have had the AirTag?

There are a lot of unanswered questions with this incident.

There is some information on disabling here:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT212227

iVoid

“Before driving home, May was able to disable tracking on the device.” I would like an elaboration on “disable tracking”, did she find it and removed the battery? Yeah, I was wondering if she actually found it or just disabled it via the Find My app. I got a notification that a pair of AirPods was detected traveling with me. Playing the sound didn’t locate it on me and I had just been on a bus with other people, so I assumed someone else had AirPods on the bus and that’s what was detected. So not sure of the radius… Read more »

iVoid

“Before driving home, May was able to disable tracking on the device.” I would like an elaboration on “disable tracking”, did she find it and removed the battery? Yeah, I was wondering if she actually found it or just disabled it via the Find My app. I got a notification that a pair of AirPods was detected traveling with me. Playing the sound didn’t locate it on me and I had just been on a bus with other people, so I assumed someone else had AirPods on the bus and that’s what was detected. So not sure of the radius… Read more »

Lee Dronick

On closer reading she is saying:

An apple AirTag was put on me to track my location “

So it was slipped into a pocket or something, but she is not giving any details as to how it was “put on” her. But as vpndev says not many women’s clothes have pockets or even functional pockets. Another possibility is that she does not mean that it was literally on her which takes me back to maybe a companion had it and didn’t say anything.