Apple AirTags could be used to track cops, law enforcement warned
NEW YORK - Law enforcement officers in New Jersey are being warned about criminals possibly using Apple AirTags to track them.
The NJ State Police confirmed to FOX5NY.com that the warning came from the Office of the Regional Operations & Intelligence Center.
The warning stated that Apple "AirTags and similar devices post an inherent threat to law enforcement, as criminals could use them to identify officers' sensitive locations, patterns of life, etc."
The information was first reported by Good Morning America.
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Apple AirTags are coin-sized devices that can be attached to keys, backpacks, purses, and other items to help people track them down via iPhone if they’re misplaced. They went on the market in April 2021.
If an Apple AirTag is nearby, the user's iPhone can lead them straight to it with what Apple called Precision Finding. A user can see the distance to their Apple AirTag and the direction to head in to get to the object it is attached to. While the company has not released an exact range for the product, technology blogs have said that they use Bluetooth 5.0, which means it should be trackable within 800 feet.
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There have been incidents of people using Apple Air Tag to possibly stalk people. Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Brooks Nadar says that a stranger planted an Apple AirTag in her coat while she was at a New York City bar earlier in January.
She says someone tracked her for several hours, even as she walked home alone just before midnight.
Brooks revealed in an Instagram post that it started while she was at the bar in the Odeon Restaurant in the TriBeCa section of Manhattan.
In a statement to FOX 5 News after that incident, Apple said: "We take customer safety very seriously and are committed to AirTag’s privacy and security. AirTag is designed with a set of proactive features to discourage unwanted tracking."
A Mississippi woman says she received a phone notification that someone was apparently tracking her location using an Apple AirTag that had been placed on or near her or her property for "a while", according to recent reports.
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Amber Norsworthy said she was with her young children on Dec. 27 when her phone "made a noise I hadn’t heard before," she wrote in a since-deleted Facebook that day.
Norsworthy said she learned that the person monitoring the device first checked her location at 1:47 p.m. local time, while she and her family were at the park. The latest they checked it was 3:08 p.m., while she was at her family’s home, she said. She received the alert just minutes later.
Apple says that If users ever feel their safety is at risk, they are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement to work with Apple to provide any available information about the unknown AirTag.
Police have also warned that car thieves are using Apple AirTags to track high-end luxury cars. A police department in Canada linked five recent car theft cases to the tracking devices.