Ahead of WWDC, Apple bolsters AirTags privacy measures, says developing Android detector app


Apple ramped up its biggest developer event of the year, about a month after Apple ramped up its privacy efforts with AirTags, and a week before WWDC.

The new AirTag sensor has raised privacy concerns that Apple hopes to address.

it’s part of the story apple eventOur full coverage of the latest news from Apple HQ.

Apple’s Adjustments Its approach to its airtag sensor, changing the time they run audible alerts when separated from their owner. The company is also rolling out new ways to alert people to unexpected AirTag or Find My network-enabled devices.

The tech giant said on Thursday that it has started sending updates to its airtags, window of time they will make noise When potentially being used to track down another person. Initially, the Apple device will run in three days. Now it will start playing at random times within a window lasting between 8 and 24 hours.

To further reassure people about its AirTags, Apple said it is developing an app for Android devices that will help people “locate” AirTags or find My Network-enabled devices that come with them Can “travel” unexpectedly. Apple iPhones already have a similar alert system in their devices. The Android app will be released later this year.

“The recent introduction of AirTag includes industry-first proactive features that discourage unwanted tracking,” Apple said in a statement. The company said that its moves, which come in a week Ahead of its Online Worldwide Developers Conference EventAirtags represent an ongoing commitment to improving privacy and security.

Apple’s updates to its Airtags come a month later Went on sale for $29, or $99 for a four-pack. The devices were initially introduced as an easy way to find lost keys, book bags and other items using Apple’s Find My Network technology. Airtags use a combination of onboard sensors and wireless signals to help owners identify where their item is, indicating location by emitting sound from the tracker and showing like a compass direction arrow on an app on their phone.

Shortly after AirTag was released, however, privacy advocates raised concerns that the devices could be used as a way of stalking people. Unlike other tracking devices sold by competitors like Tile and Samsung, Apple’s Airtags Take advantage of the company’s Find My Network, communicating silently with over 1 billion active iPhones and other Apple devices and sharing the location of any nearby Airtags. And The Washington Post reported in May that although Apple’s privacy features are stronger than those of competitors, its testing found those protections may not be enough to protect unintentional victims.

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Apple’s AirTags are designed to work with the company’s Find My Network, which is powered by iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers.

Apple believes it is creating a deterrent to abuse by adjusting the amount of time before AirTag alerts a non-owner to its presence, effectively introducing uncertainty about how they Will work The company has already built warnings into iPhones to alert people about the airtags they travel with, which they are not aware of. And the unique identification codes for each AirTag are changed frequently, and their communication is encrypted, which Apple says prevents hacking and other unintended tracking attempts.

If someone finds an unwanted AirTag while traveling with them, they can tap it with an iPhone or other near-field communications-enabled phone to receive instructions on how to disable AirTag.

Apple said its updates for AirTags began rolling out Thursday, and would be applied automatically when the iPhone is in range. The company declined to give further details about its upcoming airtags and Find My Accessory Detection app for Android, saying it will share more details later this year.

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