Apple’s upcoming AirTags will offer, if rumors are to be believed, a convenient way to track an object, a child, or a pet. But what if someone slips an AirTag into your bag to track you without your knowledge?
It appears Apple has thought of that. 9to5Mac has gone through the new features in the iOS 14.5 beta, and found an interesting new option in the Find My app. Called “Item Safety Alerts,” this feature will alert you when an item that’s unknown to you is on your person and being tracked via Find My.
Users will be able to turn Item Safety Alerts off in the Me tab in the Find My app. Apple will, however, display a notice warning you that turning this feature off will allow someone to track you without you getting notified.
“The owner of an unknown item will be able to see your location and you will no longer receive notifications when an unknown item is found moving with you,” the notice says.
AirTags, which have been the subject of rumors since April 2019, will likely be small, circular objects with Bluetooth connectivity that can easily be attached to other objects, such as bags, bikes, or clothing items.
Apple greatly expanded the functionality of the Find My app in the recent iOS betas. The new “Items” tab was added for tracking non-Apple devices, probably through AirTags.
The new feature might not be solely AirTags-related. The Verge points out that Apple plans to open up its Find My app to third-party accessories, such as Samsung’s Galaxy SmartTag. With support for numerous accessories with tracking capabilities, some of which may be very small, the potential for malicious tracking becomes quite serious.
Apple’s iOS 14.5 beta 3 is currently available to developers and beta testers.