Apple To Change AirTag Technology To Prevent Unwanted Tracking: Report

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Apple is making changes to its AirTag technology in efforts to put a stop to unwanted tracking.

In a blog post Thursday (February 10), the tech giant announced the changes –– made in collaboration with safety advocates and law enforcement agencies.

The company will specifically address the issue by updating the AirTag device, equipping it with more warnings sooner if the Bluetooth tracker is being used. It currently can take hours before the AirTag notifies someone that the device has been separated from the owner.

The updated technology will also include a louder tone so it's easier to find and allow someone to use see its distance and direction using the finding tool, CNN Business reported.

During the setup process, Apple will warn users that using the small device to track people is a crime.

"We've become aware that individuals can receive unwanted tracking alerts for benign reasons such as when borrowing someone's keys when an AirTag is attached, or when traveling in a car with a family member's AirPods left inside," the company said in a statement. "We have also seen reports of bad actors attempting to misuse AirTags for malicious or criminal purposes."

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms any malicious use of our products," the company added.

On social media, several users shared stories about discovering AirTags and other brands of small tracking devices on their vehicles. One young woman in Dallas, Abigail Saldana, was fatally shot two weeks after discovering a tracking device on her car.

According to NBC DFW, the 22-year-old posted to Instagram about finding the device, stating "I don't know what to do moving forward with this." Saldana's mother, Jessica Contreras, told the outlet she encouraged her daughter to report the device to police, but isn't sure if she followed through.

Tracking devices like AirTags are also made by Samsung and other tech companies and unwanted tracking was an issue "long before AirTags came on the market," Erica Olsen, director of the Safety Net Project at the National Network to End Domestic Violence, told CNN.

"We are happy Apple is engaging in the conversation about victim safety and are continuing to improve safeguards. We hope others follow their lead," Olsen added.

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