Apple strengthens data protection measures for AirTag trackers
Apple strengthens data protection measures for AirTag trackers

Apple has announced that it will fine-tune how the AirTag tracker is handled and change when an alert is triggered when it is separated from its owner.

The company is also developing new ways to alert people to unexpected AirTags or Find My Devices nearby.

The iPhone maker said it has started sending updates to the AirTag tracker and when it can be used to track other people, it changes the time window in which it makes noise.

Apple devices can be up and running within three days. Playback now starts at a random time in the 8-24 hour window.

To further reassure people about AirTag, Apple says it is developing an app for Android devices to help people discover AirTag or find compatible devices over a network.

A similar alarm system is integrated into the iPhone. The Android app will be launched later this year.

"The latest AirTag tracker delivers industry-first active features," Apple said. These functions can prevent unwanted tracking.

The company added that its actions in the week leading up to the Worldwide Developers Conference represent an ongoing commitment to improving AirTag privacy and security.

Apple has improved AirTag's privacy practices:

Apple updated the AirTag tracker more than a month after they went on sale for $29 each.

These devices are designed to make it easier to find lost keys and other items using Apple's Find My technology.

AirTag uses a combination of sensors and wireless signals to help homeowners locate lost items.

The location is determined by playing a sound from the tracker and displaying a compass-like directional arrow through the mobile app.

Soon after AirTag was launched, data protection officers feared that the devices could be used to track people.

Unlike other trackers sold by competitors (like Tile and Samsung), AirTag uses the company's Find My network with over a billion active iPhones and other Apple devices and can communicate with any nearby AirTag and share your location.

The Washington Post reported in May that while Apple's privacy features are stronger than those of its competitors, its tests revealed that such protections may not be enough to keep victims safe.

Apple believes it can prevent abuse by adjusting the delay before AirTag reports its existence to non-owners.

The company has also added an alert to the iPhone to remind people of the AirTag you take with you when they travel.

Each AirTag's unique identifier code changes frequently and its communications are encrypted, which Apple says can help prevent hacking and other accidental tracking activities.

If someone finds that it has an unwanted AirTag, they can touch it with their iPhone or other near field compatible mobile phone to get instructions on how to turn off the AirTag.

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