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Piggie

macrumors G3
Original poster
Feb 23, 2010
9,144
4,049
Having just listened to this story on the news today I was wondering what your thoughts are on this?

It appears Apple and Google are working together to vastly change/upgrade the alerting method of AirTags,
to the point where fundamentally they are going to be rendered useless when it comes to you being able to find any of your stolen items you have placed AirTags on.

It seems the importance of stopping people using the devices to stalk someone has overridden the importance in tracking stolen items.
Which of course is a debate people can have.

So, basically we shall be at a point where you will need to purchase a 3rd party tracker option to protect/find items you wish to locate if they are stolen.

Wondered what your views are on this topic?
 

fischersd

macrumors 603
Oct 23, 2014
5,369
1,936
Port Moody, BC, Canada
The compromise for this will be licensee's - OEM's that license Apple's FindMy network to help when their items are lost or stolen - I would anticipate that Apple would have different anti-stalking behaviours for these devices (eg. bicycles, knapsacks) as they are not similar to the easily pocketable AirTags.

Quite surprised we haven't seen a lot of car stereo systems embrace this yet - adding theft protection to your car - either built in by the car manufacturer or with add-on head units that consumers can purchase for their older vehicles.
 
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JPack

macrumors G5
Mar 27, 2017
12,841
24,269
Apple launched AirTags on day one with a focus on privacy and security. Just read the press release. They specifically called out the fact AirTags have features to discourage unwanted tracking. With that in mind, the expectation that AirTags could be used to retrieve stolen items is just silly.

If you use common sense, why would a multi-trillion dollar company prioritize tracking stolen items over privacy? The two things are mutually exclusive.
 

Feek

macrumors 65816
Nov 9, 2009
1,360
2,018
JO01
It seems the importance of stopping people using the devices to stalk someone has overridden the importance in tracking stolen items.
AirTags are not for tracking stolen items.

So, basically we shall be at a point where you will need to purchase a 3rd party tracker option to protect/find items you wish to locate if they are stolen.
Yes, because AirTags are not for tracking stolen items.

Wondered what your views are on this topic?
That AirTags are not for tracking stolen items.
 

Coffee50

macrumors 6502a
Apr 23, 2015
875
489
At the risk of sounding like a broken record...AirTags weren't marketed to retrieve stolen items.

Now, from a realistic standpoint, people USE them for potentially retrieving stolen items...and many have been successful. However when the media (social & mainstream) constantly tout the stories of people getting back stolen stuff, it causes even more people to want to use it that way.

We can then turn around and say...AirTags weren't marketed to stalk people.

But again, people USED them for that purpose...and many were successfully able to track people. Once again when the media (social & mainstream) tout the stalking stories, it causes people to want security measures in place.

One can use an AirTag for purposes that it isn't marketed for...but you can't really fault Apple for implementing security changes (if they don't, regulators will)

It's a $29 device meant to track / locate personal items. There are other products on the marketed directly marketed for theft protection. I get that people have been successful in tracking stolen with the AirTags, and thats great when it happens...but its not a guarantee, and it appears safety measures are going to override everything else.
 

SilvioInfante

Suspended
Jul 27, 2023
92
170
Having just listened to this story on the news today I was wondering what your thoughts are on this?

It appears Apple and Google are working together to vastly change/upgrade the alerting method of AirTags,
to the point where fundamentally they are going to be rendered useless when it comes to you being able to find any of your stolen items you have placed AirTags on.

It seems the importance of stopping people using the devices to stalk someone has overridden the importance in tracking stolen items.
Which of course is a debate people can have.

So, basically we shall be at a point where you will need to purchase a 3rd party tracker option to protect/find items you wish to locate if they are stolen.

Wondered what your views are on this topic?
Absolutely no aspect of AirTags is designed or intended to track stolen items.
 

erihp

macrumors 6502
Apr 21, 2020
300
240
As an aside, while they will still report to someone else as 'an airtag is following you' to someone with an iphone, or the android locator app, a third party 'Find My' device will NOT chirp when moved and do not support UWB-based location finding.

Here are two examples of such products:



The latter (white ones) are extremely easy to open (to facilitate battery replacement) and would be trivial to remove the speaker. If you hid one of these in your vehicle it would be nearly impossible to find, even if the thief was alerted.
 

JWGold

macrumors regular
Sep 25, 2017
153
199
United States
Absolutely no aspect of AirTags is designed or intended to track stolen items.

Well, a misplaced item has no idea that it’s lost or stolen. As far as the item is concerned, it’s been separated from its owner by unknown means. That being said, I have seen many things located using Air Tags. The owners just knew the items were missing and had no idea whether they were just lost or if they had been stolen.
 

MacTiki

macrumors regular
Nov 17, 2008
232
166
The compromise for this will be licensee's - OEM's that license Apple's FindMy network to help when their items are lost or stolen - I would anticipate that Apple would have different anti-stalking behaviours for these devices (eg. bicycles, knapsacks) as they are not similar to the easily pocketable AirTags.

Quite surprised we haven't seen a lot of car stereo systems embrace this yet - adding theft protection to your car - either built in by the car manufacturer or with add-on head units that consumers can purchase for their older vehicles.
LoJack.
 

bruinsrme

macrumors 604
Oct 26, 2008
7,174
3,037
Well, a misplaced item has no idea that it’s lost or stolen. As far as the item is concerned, it’s been separated from its owner by unknown means. That being said, I have seen many things located using Air Tags. The owners just knew the items were missing and had no idea whether they were just lost or if they had been stolen.
You mean to tell me the air tag can not differentiate between lost and stolen, LOL just kidding. I am sure apple chose there words carefully.
 
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JapanApple

macrumors 65816
Sep 16, 2022
1,396
4,462
Japan
People are just reading too much into this issue. Lost stolen it’s just semantics here. The idea here is to be responsible enough to use them. It’s on purpose was to make sure you didn’t lose your items. But in advertently it’s become a great idea to locating stolen items. I use mine since I’ve been around and I’ve used him for numerous issues of finding objects that have been displaced etc. I won’t say anything bad about AirTags because I’ve had nothing but good luck with them. But I’m not gonna slam people just because they think it shouldn’t be for stolen items. To each their own. I want more of them if I have a chance. Whatever fits your needs wonderful. But what Apple is basically doing to these finder tags it’s gonna be a big problem for many people because the thieves won’t even care knowing This. Chalk up another one for the criminals in a way society is run that it’s OK to steal. Peace and love
 
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msackey

macrumors 68030
Oct 8, 2020
2,544
2,958
Well, a misplaced item has no idea that it’s lost or stolen. As far as the item is concerned, it’s been separated from its owner by unknown means. That being said, I have seen many things located using Air Tags. The owners just knew the items were missing and had no idea whether they were just lost or if they had been stolen.
LOL. That is very similar to my thoughts too :)

As I read this thread I was like: welp, when does lost become stolen and stolen become lost? The two are not necessarily that black and white. The assumption seems to be that we live in a world in which all things are inanimate so when we "lose track" of an item, it's lost and it's not possible that an item lost could also be stolen. From the owner's perspective it's just lost and they didn't know it's stolen? Right. Like body touches a lost item. Right.

Yeah, so I agree with you. But I also get the oft repeated "Air Tags are not meant to track stolen items".

I think a point is that lost and stolen are not mutually exclusive (even though that oft-repeated phrase makes it seem like they are mutually exclusive. *eye roll*) LOL
 
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Coffee50

macrumors 6502a
Apr 23, 2015
875
489
"this story on the news today"

Where was the story and what did it say?

The story was basically: "A top officer in the Los Angeles Police Department has been suspended after he was accused of using an Apple AirTag to track another officer with whom he was romantically involved."
 
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yeahwhateveryousay

macrumors newbie
Sep 7, 2022
4
1
Glendale, AZ
"this story on the news today"

Where was the story and what did it say?


Headline: Los Angeles Police Department assistant chief accused of stalking subordinate

Story snippet:
A Los Angeles Police Department official is under investigation after being accused of stalking a female officer while they were romantically involved.

LAPD Assistant Chief Al Labrada is accused of allegedly placing an Apple AirTag tracking device on his ex-girlfriend’s car to monitor her whereabouts.

Following a recent breakup, the woman said she found the AirTag inside a waterproof Pelican box in her car. The device connected to the tag traced back to Labrada’s city-issued smartphone.
 

Rainbow Apple

macrumors member
Feb 21, 2023
55
27
The premise is wrong: AirTags are still useful for tracking stolen items. Do the anti-stalking measures make them less effective at tracking stolen items? Yes. But AirTags are still a cheap way to add some extra security. Plus, there's still the option to remove the speaker (or to buy a Tag from someone's who's removed the speaker for you).

Edit: On second thought: Better to use some non Apple AirTag alternative for tracking stolen items, if memory serves. A tracker which works with the Apple FindMy network, but lacks the "Find the precise location of an AirTag" function. That way, the thief won't be able to use that function to find your tracker. But do your own homework here, my memory's pretty fuzzy on this.
 
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fischersd

macrumors 603
Oct 23, 2014
5,369
1,936
Port Moody, BC, Canada
The premise is wrong: AirTags are still useful for tracking stolen items. Do the anti-stalking measures make them less effective at tracking stolen items? Yes. But AirTags are still a cheap way to add some extra security. Plus, there's still the option to remove the speaker (or to buy a Tag from someone's who's removed the speaker for you).

Edit: On second thought: Better to use some non Apple AirTag alternative for tracking stolen items, if memory serves. A tracker which works with the Apple FindMy network, but lacks the "Find the precise location of an AirTag" function. That way, the thief won't be able to use that function to find your tracker. But do your own homework here, my memory's pretty fuzzy on this.
Pretty sure as part of Apple's license agreement for using their FindMy network, the vendors need to comply with their usage scenarios - so, anything that is easily pocketable such as the AirTag's should behave exactly the same (with their anti-stalking behaviours) - hopefully they allow manufacturer's to have different behaviours for items that aren't as portable (bicycles, stereo head units for cars, luggage) - so you COULD leverage the FindMy network for anti-theft purposes (in addition to finding).
 

macfacts

macrumors 601
Oct 7, 2012
4,919
5,801
Cybertron
Having just listened to this story on the news today I was wondering what your thoughts are on this?

It appears Apple and Google are working together to vastly change/upgrade the alerting method of AirTags,
to the point where fundamentally they are going to be rendered useless when it comes to you being able to find any of your stolen items you have placed AirTags on.

It seems the importance of stopping people using the devices to stalk someone has overridden the importance in tracking stolen items.
Which of course is a debate people can have.

So, basically we shall be at a point where you will need to purchase a 3rd party tracker option to protect/find items you wish to locate if they are stolen.

Wondered what your views are on this topic?
Use an apple watch to track your stolen items, doesn't beep and doesn't notify other smartphone users.
 

ownykt

macrumors newbie
May 27, 2024
6
0
As an aside, while they will still report to someone else as 'an airtag is following you' to someone with an iphone, or the android locator app, a third party 'Find My' device will NOT chirp when moved and do not support UWB-based location finding.

Here are two examples of such products:



The latter (white ones) are extremely easy to open (to facilitate battery replacement) and would be trivial to remove the speaker. If you hid one of these in your vehicle it would be nearly impossible to find, even if the thief was alerted.
I purchased this model on Amazon, and upon disassembling it, I discovered that if I place a small piece of paper between the circuit board and the speaker, it won't emit any sound. However, my phone will still receive the notifications (this is Apple's mandatory anti-tracking feature). Even if the notifications are received, the tag cannot be located. This feature indeed helps with theft prevention.
 

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doobry

macrumors regular
Mar 5, 2010
159
30
Why not just have an option to flag something as stolen, that way it doesn't tell someone who might have stolen your item they are being tracked but does tell the police in your local (based on your icloud home address) police department and apple that it's reported stolen and it will be very easy to identify you as the only way you can flag an airtag as stolen is to have a credit card attached to your icloud account or even a bank like advanced verification system (ID and video etc)
 

danny842003

macrumors 68000
Jun 6, 2017
1,948
2,222
Why not just have an option to flag something as stolen, that way it doesn't tell someone who might have stolen your item they are being tracked but does tell the police in your local (based on your icloud home address) police department and apple that it's reported stolen and it will be very easy to identify you as the only way you can flag an airtag as stolen is to have a credit card attached to your icloud account or even a bank like advanced verification system (ID and video etc)

Because it’s not an anti theft device 🤦
 
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