by Dan Moren
Apple revamps AirTag privacy measures, will build Android app
Apple says it’s adjusting how AirTags deal with privacy implications, in a statement provided to CNET’s Ian Sherr:
The tech giant said Thursday it’s begun sending out updates to its AirTags, changing the window of time they’ll make noises when potentially being used to track another person. Initially, the Apple device would play in three days. Now it’ll begin to play at a random time inside a window that lasts between 8 and 24 hours.
To further reassure people about its AirTags, Apple said it’s developing an app for Android devices that will help people “detect” an AirTag or Find My network-enabled device that may also be unsuspectedly “traveling” with them. Apple iPhones already have a similar alert system built into their devices. The Android app will be released later this year.
We knew that Apple could adjust some of the privacy measures remotely—the company said as much when it introduced the product earlier this year. But it’s good to see that it’s following through on the promise of finding better ways to deal with the problems raised by potential stalking and location monitoring.
If there’s any indication that it’s serious about this, it’s that Apple’s going to build an Android app. Not exactly waters that it tends to dive into willingly.
I wouldn’t expect this to be the last change to AirTags either. Apple’s made a big deal about its continuing commitment to privacy; I imagine they’d like to see how these changes are received before they go about making more adjustments.