Apple execs explain how AirTag is ‘stalker-proof’ and whether you should use it to track pets

Apple unveiled on Tuesday its AirTag smart tracker. Designed to be “privacy-first” and “stalker-proof,” two Apple executives shared more info about the AirTag with Fast Company.

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In the interview, Apple’s VP of worldwide iPhone product marketing Kaiann Drance and senior director of sensing and connectivity Ron Huang talked about the smart tracker creation and its benefits.

“When it came to designing our own product, we thought carefully about how to get this right in a way that no one else in the industry’s ever done before. You’ll see that we designed for the privacy of AirTag owners and nonowners, as well as making these benefits opened up to third-party products as well,” said Drance.

Although almost any smartphone can interact with the AirTag, Apple built a “privacy-first” smart tracker.

“If you lose your AirTag, somebody can’t just pick up your AirTag, repair it with their iPhone, and continue using it,” said Huang.

With its unique feature called Pairing Lock, iPhone users can be protected against people who may find the lost smart tracker and snatch it. For example, a person who finds a lost AirTag can’t even identify who owns it. The owner can only be identified if they mark the AirTag in the Find My app as “lost.

As mention before, the smart tracker is also designed to be “stalker-proof,” as your iPhone can notice an AirTag near you. If someone puts the tracker in your backpack, for instance, you’ll receive an “AirTag Found Moving With You” notification.

The item is also “stalker-proof” for Android users. According to Apple executives, “after an AirTag has been away from its paired device for a certain amount of time, the item will automatically emit a sound notifying those around it of its presence.” As of now, AirTag needs to be out of range of its paired device for three days for the sound to emit, but that can change in a future software update.

Apple doesn’t recommend the AirTag to track small children or pets. If parents would like to safely track young children, Apple VP suggests an Apple Watch with Family Setup. As for tracking a pet, she 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.”

The AirTag smart tracker launches April 30 for $29 or four items for $99. Apple is also selling a variety of accessories for AirTag separately.

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Avatar for José Adorno José Adorno

Brazilian tech Journalist. Author at 9to5Mac. Previously at Rede Globo, the main TV broadcaster in Latin America.

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