Apple’s AirTags are again making headlines for being involved in a stalking incident. According to a report from local news outlet WGRZ, officers from the West Seneca Police Department in New York are warning that AirTags have been involved in a pair of alleged stalking cases over the last month…
“Somewhere there has been trackers in a diaper bag. They can put them anywhere, and they are so small they are extremely hard to detect,” said Ava Thomas of the Family Justice Center.
But secretly tracking someone electronically without their consent is against the law. Specifically in New York, it is known as “Jackie’s Law” named for Jackie Wisniewski, a hospital worker at ECMC who was stalked by an ex-boyfriend using a GPS tracking device and eventually murdered.
Recently the AirTag has been popping up in the news for the wrong reasons. It was reported that car thieves had been using the AirTag to steal vehicles in Canada. And now the New York Police Department has issued a ‘warning’ to the city residents.
According to a report by 9to5Mac, West Seneca police department in New York got two cases of AirTag being misused. The first one was a female who reported that she got a notification about an Apple AirTag moving with her. The police found an AirTag under the bumper of the woman’s car, states the report.
If you believe you are a target of an illegal electronic tracking device like this, report it to the police. You can also contact the Family Justice Center online, or call, 716-558-SAFE (7233).
The report says that the police don’t believe that the two cases are connected. However, they want to raise awareness and are warning residents to be careful. The police have also “subpoenaed records from Apple to help them find out who was trying to track the woman last month.”
The most important thing to keep in mind here is that AirTags privacy features seem to be working as expected in these situations. In both instances, the women were alerted about a potential AirTag potential being nearby. This is an added precaution that other similar GPS trackers don’t offer.
However, unless the AirTags are kept in plain sight, it’s really difficult to know if an unknown device is in the vicinity or not. Apple had also said that iOS devices can detect AirTags that isn’t with its owner, and notify the user if an unknown AirTags are seen to be travelling with them from place to place over time