We’ve seen stories of people triumphantly locating their lost belongings thanks to AirTags, but, as always, technology is a double-edged sword. It seems that some car thieves in Canada are using Apple’s tracking fobs to locate and steal vehicles:
Since September 2021, officers have investigated five incidents where suspects have placed small tracking devices on high-end vehicles so they can later locate and steal them. Brand name ‘air tags’ are placed in out-of-sight areas of the target vehicles when they are parked in public places like malls or parking lots. Thieves then track the targeted vehicles to the victim’s residence, where they are stolen from the driveway.
In theory, Apple has measures in place to alert people when an AirTag that doesn’t belong to them is found at their location, but even after the company revised how those alerts work it seems that they may not be enough. In June, the company also said that it would build an app for Android phones to detect AirTags and release it “later this year,” but that’s still in the offing.
It’s possible there’s also just not enough awareness of what exactly AirTags are, or what to do if you find one that doesn’t belong to you. (Additionally, depending on where they’re located in the car, it may be hard to find them too.) Regardless, it’s a good reminder that people’s usage of technology will—for good and ill—often quickly outpace the intentions of those who create it.
—Linked by Dan Moren