It’s one of Apple’s Promised Anti-Stalking Improvements from February.
After many reports of unscrupulous actors utilizing the tracker to stalk people, Apple stated in February that it would be making improvements to make AirTags simpler to find. It promised that one of the next enhancements will be to increase the volume of the sound AirTags emit in order to make them “more easily findable.” According to MacRumors, Apple has begun to push out that option with the device’s latest firmware update.
While Apple has released release notes outlining what the update adds to the tracker, the company hasn’t mentioned that the feature will be sent out in stages. According to the publication, only 1% of users received the update when it was sent out on Tuesday, but it will be sent to 10% of users on May 3rd and 25% of users on May 9th. Apple anticipates finishing the deployment by May 13th.
Motherboard received police data in April that revealed 50 examples of women receiving messages or hearing alarm sounds indicating that they were being tracked with an AirTag. While this isn’t a significant amount, it does indicate a growing number of incidents in which trackers are being utilized for stalking.
In order to keep the device from being a creepy character’s tool of choice, Apple promised a slew of anti-stalking features, including a notice that using the device to monitor individuals is illegal. Apple will also improve the precision finding technology in newer iPhones so that they can show the direction and distance to an unknown AirTag.
Apple has said that it would upgrade the iPhone and AirTag software to include a notice during setup informing users that using AirTags to follow individuals is illegal in many parts of the world, and that law enforcement can request the information linked with the device. The Big Tech firm will also roll out a tool called Precision Finding, which will alert iPhone users to nearby unknown AirTags. The adjustments are Apple’s most substantial efforts to date to mitigate the product’s privacy and stalking drawbacks, which were released in April.
In response to subpoenas connected to AirTag offences, Apple said it is working with law enforcement to disclose serial number and Apple ID information. It further stated that in some situations, it was able to help with authorities to locate offenders who were then detained and charged.