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Thread: Apple Air Tag- who thought up this thing?

  1. #1

    Apple Air Tag- who thought up this thing?

    Just saw a news story on TV, never heard of these things, a quarter-sized tracking device that can be tracked by its owner by phone or computer-- Makes it's real handy for the local stalkers to drop into ladies purses, or for car thieves to stick on cars they want to steal later that night... ridiculously easy to weaponize. Whatever their benefits,, IMO the risks completely outweigh them...
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  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    Just saw a news story on TV, never heard of these things, a quarter-sized tracking device that can be tracked by its owner by phone or computer-- Makes it's real handy for the local stalkers to drop into ladies purses, or for car thieves to stick on cars they want to steal later that night... ridiculously easy to weaponize. Whatever their benefits,, IMO the risks completely outweigh them...
    There are a couple of protections. If you have an iPhone, it will detect the nefarious AirTag and messages will start popping up on your phone to say "AirTag found moving with you". Apple offers a downloadable app that will do the same thing on an Android phone. I think there is also a way to disable the device that is tracking you, but I'm not sure how to do it, and no doubt, it's a research step so not ideal. Yes, the designers probably thought all the productive lost/found uses and didn't consider bad actors. I'm going to guess the legal department was not involved, or asleep at the switch.

    So your larger point is probably a valid concern, and if an iPhone user suddenly sees AirTag messages, it may be time to panic or you could find yourself face to face with Javier Bardem from No Country for Old Men.

  3. #3
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    I think the most likely use is sung to the tune of "your cheating heart"

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    They're also far from the only tracking devices that are available. There are a literal ton of surveillance devices (and counter-surveillance devices for that matter) out there.
    ~mike

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    Not only available, but a long list of retailers. Google: Surveillance supplies

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    Pretty young lady on tv thinks it was dropped into her purse five hours before Apple sent her a warning. How long do the batteries last?
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    I think there is also a way to disable the device that is tracking you, but I'm not sure how to do it
    A sledge hammer comes to mind.

    Maybe you could tape it to the side of a bus.

    Leave it in a confessional at the local Catholic Church.

    Drop it off near the local police station.

    Drop it in the back seat of a Taxi.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
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    The thing is, just making these things so easily available puts the burden on everyone who might be concerned about stalking or other forms of victimization to be scanning for them. Makes Apple's tech platform a burden to people who don't have it, don't need it, and don't want it. But as others have said, Apple is hardly alone in doing this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Demuth View Post
    The thing is, just making these things so easily available puts the burden on everyone who might be concerned about stalking or other forms of victimization to be scanning for them. Makes Apple's tech platform a burden to people who don't have it, don't need it, and don't want it. But as others have said, Apple is hardly alone in doing this.
    At least it's possible to tell with these.. the others are intentionally designed to be covertly deployed, and completely hidden from the target. Aside from that, I'd venture to guess that most everyone here is having their locations actively tracked, and they essentially volunteered for it.
    ~mike

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    Aside from that, I'd venture to guess that most everyone here is having their locations actively tracked, and they essentially volunteered for it.
    Cell phones can be tracked.

    Many automobiles built in the past 20 years have tracking built in.

    If you spend any time online there is probably a data file on you with all kinds of things in which you may or may not be interested.

    Following a link to a product on Amazon may generate emails for the next week about deals on the item that was viewed out of curiosity.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike stenson View Post
    At least it's possible to tell with these.. the others are intentionally designed to be covertly deployed, and completely hidden from the target. Aside from that, I'd venture to guess that most everyone here is having their locations actively tracked, and they essentially volunteered for it.
    At least the stand-alone trackers seem to have an Achilles heel - power source. It seems unlikely to me that anything small enough to be not easily noticed will have enough battery capacity to transmit for too long without being replaced or recharged. A cell phone doesn't have that limitation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Cell phones can be tracked.

    Many automobiles built in the past 20 years have tracking built in.

    If you spend any time online there is probably a data file on you with all kinds of things in which you may or may not be interested.

    Following a link to a product on Amazon may generate emails for the next week about deals on the item that was viewed out of curiosity.

    jtk
    Then there's every purchase you make, etc. The sheer amount of data collected on us all daily is amazing. Thanks to things like individual identity cookies, it's also possible to tie it all together. Without any sort of oversight.
    ~mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike stenson View Post
    Then there's every purchase you make, etc. The sheer amount of data collected on us all daily is amazing. Thanks to things like individual identity cookies, it's also possible to tie it all together. Without any sort of oversight.
    This is exactly right. Anyone who uses a credit card or other non-cash payment mechanism, has a cell phone, drives a modern car, uses email, uses the internet is contributing to a large data cache about themselves that is distributed across many different companies and government agencies, and which is often aggregated by other "pure data" companies. If you want a clear understanding of what all that is about, go to Acxiom's website and read all the myriad ways they are sucking up data about you, so they can resell it to anyone who wants a piece of your wallet or digital attention span. Their "product" is to help those companies understand you better than you understand yourself.

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    Yes, all those things are tracking you. This AirTag-type technology just puts it more easily into the hands of individuals, good and bad. The Tile system has been around for a few years.
    It does have good uses too. I put one in my own car so I could find it in a big parking lot if necessary., or if stolen. I put one in kindergartener grandson's school backpack so we know where he is. I put one on dog's collar in case he runs off again. There are other good uses. Some people put them in luggage and toolboxes, for example,in case it is lost or stolen, and on car keys, wallets, and other things you cant remember where you put them. Almost any good thing gets abused sooner or later.
    Last edited by Stan Calow; 01-11-2022 at 9:44 AM.
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