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Apple updates AirTags to address stalking concerns

Apple is updating its AirTags to improve on privacy measures after concerns were raised the Bluetooth trackers could easily enable stalking.

“Following up on our commitment to continue to improve AirTag’s privacy and security, starting today we will be updating the time period after which an AirTag that is separated from its owner will play a sound when moved,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement. “This time period is changing from three days to a random time between 8 and 24 hours.”

That may sound like a minor change, but it’s meant to address concerns that Apple didn’t do enough to prevent AirTags from being used nefariously. The Washington Post reported that the previous, three-day window made it “frighteningly easy” for a potential stalker to track a victim for days before they’d receive any kind of warning that an AirTag had been surreptitiously placed into their belongings.

To further allay privacy concerns, Apple is also planning an Android app that will help users detect “an AirTag or Find My network-enabled accessory separated from its owner that may be traveling with a user.” Importantly, it doesn’t sound like the app is meant to give Android users full functionality of AirTags, but it would give non-iPhone owners a way to look for unwanted trackers.

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