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Harassment by Apple AirTag on the rise

Spying on your spouse is a phenomenon as old as the world, but Apple AirTags bring it up to date. And even more. The Vice site has searched dozens of police stations across the United States looking for complaints regarding this tag. Of the 150 police reports recovered, about fifty are from women who discovered one of these famous Apple drives in their area. In half of these cases, the victims of this police action suspected a specific person at the origin. It is usually a jealous and vengeful ex-husband. Sometimes it is also a possessive husband or a libidinous boss… There is also a case where the victim is a man and the stalker is a woman.

In almost all documented cases, the Apple AirTag is hidden somewhere in the victim’s car. Sometimes there are even several. The beacon is not always easy to find and sometimes requires the intervention of a mechanic. The attackers, on the other hand, are not particularly discreet. Often they don’t hesitate to show themselves as they follow their victims.

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This is probably just the tip of the iceberg, because not all reports necessarily lead to a complaint. So we can assume that there are many more, which could seriously tarnish the image of Apple, which probably doesn’t want to be the preferred supplier of sexual harassment. The existence of these reports certainly proves that the detection mechanism created by the company works well. It must be said that Apple has significantly strengthened safeguards over time.

Originally, an AirTag abandoned by its owner only started beeping automatically after three days. But Apple soon reduced this period to less than 24 hours, precisely to prevent harassment. The company also has its algorithms improved to more quickly detect the presence of a nearby AirTag spy. She developed an android app to extend discovery capability to non-Apple users. And she multiplied the warning texts during the installation of such a machine.

A dangerous product?

But in the end it is not very convincing, because by the time of the warning the damage is already done. Android users don’t necessarily know about the existence of an alert app. Asked by Vice, Albert Fox Cahn, head of the citizens’ association Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP), believes Apple has significantly democratized the use of such cookies. “Thanks to Apple, bullying has never been easier or cheaper. With an AirTag it is possible to follow someone anywhere in the world (…) The only solution is to stop marketing AirTags. This product is far too dangerous to stay on the market,” he believes. If the number of cases of harassment continues to multiply, it is possible that Apple will resign itself to it.

Sourcevice

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