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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Apple execs talk AirTags security, pet tracking

Apple executives Kaiann Drance and Ron Huang spoke to Fast Company’s Michael Grothaus about AirTags, and there were a few interesting tidbits I hadn’t seen elsewhere:

AirTags also have a unique security feature called Pairing Lock, which protects against people who may find your lost item and snatch the AirTag from it to use as their own. Huang likens Pairing Lock to the iPhone’s Activation Lock. “It means that if you lose your AirTag, somebody can’t just pick up your AirTag, re-pair it with their phone, and continue using it,” he says. “This has been really impactful for the iPhone and we think it will be for AirTag as well.”

A lot of attention has rightfully been focused on how AirTags avoid people using them for nefarious purposes1, but as usual, Apple’s considered both sides of the equation.

I’ve also already heard a couple of folks talking about putting AirTags on their pets, which the Apple execs took on:

When I asked Drance about parents using AirTags to track their small children (such as during an outing at an amusement park) or pets (we know you’re up to something shady, Fluffy) she was quick to stress that the company designed the AirTag to track items, not people or pets. If parents would like to safely track their young children, she suggests an Apple Watch with Family Setup might be a better choice.

As for strapping an AirTag to a pet, Drance says, “If people do that, they just have to make sure that their moving pet gets into range of a device in the Find My network” so its location can be tracked.

Welp, that’s not a ‘no.’

Elsewhere, Matthew Panzarino at TechCrunch and Dieter Bohn at The Verge have both written up their hands-on experiences with AirTags.


  1. One point made in a few of these pieces is that the AirTag’s removable battery makes it easy to disable—which is both a good way to disable one that you find with you, as well as a deterrent for it being used to track people. 
—Linked by Dan Moren

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