Apple is rolling out more antistalking tools with the next update to iOS 15, coming in the next few weeks, according to a report from MacRumors. The new update will include messaging to warn users that stalking with AirTags is a crime, as well as other features that will make it more obvious when an AirTag is traveling with you.
These changes are relatively small, but they are the first of a few changes Apple had promised would be coming down the line. “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,” Apple said in a blog post.
Apple’s AirTags have been under fire for being security risks, and these changes will help mitigate that aspect. Apple also plans another package of updates to roll out later this year. These will include precision finding, which is a set of features that will make it easier to find where unknown AirTags are, an alert that pops up when an unknown AirTag makes a sound, and improvements in the volume of the sound played when an unwanted AirTag is found.
Still, Apple shipping AirTags with these features out of the box would have made the company appear more sensitive to the societal implications it references, rather than merely being reactive to negative news coverage. Even with these tweaks, many of these changes won’t make you feel more secure if you’re on one of the very many Android phones in use around the world.
At the same time, it’s better that these are here than not. As Apple points out, other companies like the Amazon-owned Tile have yet to do this much.
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