Apple’s AirTags Are Being Used to Stalk and Harass Women

One-third of the 150 police reports obtained by Motherboard showed women who were being watched by abusive men in their lives.

AirTags, Apple’s tiny, inexpensive device for keeping track of your stuff, seems like an innocuous gadget if you’re prone to losing your keys. But security experts have been sounding the alarm about the trackers—which use the Bluetooth receivers in other Apple devices to locate the Airtag's position on a map—as a potentially powerful tool for stalkers.  

Records obtained by Motherboard from some of the country’s biggest police departments show that what was once a theoretical issue is unfolding at a large scale. Women are being stalked by ex-partners using AirTags hidden in cars or elsewhere, to follow them around their daily routines. Many of these cases involved abusers showing up to their work, home, or social events—and with histories of past violence against their targets, the AirTags led the stalkers right to them. 

I sat down with Motherboard editor-in-chief Jason Koebler to talk about what’s inside these reports, what privacy experts are saying about the problem, and why stalking and harassment get less attention in the security world than other hacks. 

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