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In the New iOS 15.4 Beta, Apple AirTags get more Anti-Stalking Messaging

There are also Bug Fixes for Accessory Notifications and Cautions for would-Be Stalkers

According to MacRumors, Apple’s latest anti-stalking features for AirTags, which were introduced earlier this month, have begun to surface in iOS. When customers first set up an AirTag, a warning appears in the newest beta 4 version of iOS 15.4. “Using this gadget to track people without their agreement is illegal in many countries,” it says. “This item is designed to be noticed by victims and to allow law enforcement to obtain information about the owner’s identity.”

“Using this gadget to track people without their agreement is illegal in many countries,” it says. “This item is designed to be noticed by victims and to allow law enforcement to obtain information about the owner’s identity.”

Apple has already stated that it has collaborated with law enforcement on several occasions to trace abused AirTags back to their original owners, indicating that this is not a hypothetical threat. At the same time, it’s clear that it won’t deter stalkers who are willing to use false identities.

Another issue that has perplexed customers is an error notice that says “unknown accessory detected.” Although it’s caused by certain AirPods models and third-party gadgets, many people assumed it meant they’d been implanted with an AirTag tracker. To avoid confusion, the latest beta of iOS 15.4 will now make it plain if you’re travelling with someone else’s AirPods, for example.

Additionally, the option to turn off “Item Safety Alerts” is no longer available. Rather, “Customize Find My Notifications” and “Customize Tracking Notifications” are now available in the update. Some of these tweaks may or may not make it into the final version of iOS 15.4, which is expected to be released next month.

The change is part of a bigger effort to strengthen AirTags’ security and decrease stalking. Apple reduced the time an AirTag may be disconnected from its owner without making a sound from three days to between eight and 24 hours last year. This update was made to shorten the time it takes to search down a potential victim.

Apple will upgrade recent iPhone models later this year to include a precise tracking function that will make it easier to locate an unknown AirTag. It also intends to change undesired tracking alerts so that users are notified sooner. Finally, the AirTag sound has been modified to be as loud as possible, with an iPhone visual alert as a backup.

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