Unauthorized Tracking with AirTags: How Criminals Are Stealing Cars and Google and Apple Are Developing Safeguards

Warning: Canadian Criminals Using AirTags to Steal Cars

AirTags, small location devices designed by Apple to help users find lost items, have been used by criminals to track cars and steal them. Criminals have been placing the tracking device in hidden locations such as windshield wipers, inside open vehicles, or in the front grille. This allows them to monitor the cars and eventually steal and sell them.

The Burlington Police in Vermont, which borders Canada, reported an increase in complaints from people who traveled to Canada and returned to find an unknown AirTag tracking their car. iPhone alerts alerted the victims to the presence of the tracking device, which they confirmed using the Apple Search app to locate it.

Although Bluetooth location devices like AirTags and Samsung SmartTags are intended for beneficial use, they have also been used for malicious purposes, such as tracking people’s location or activity without their knowledge. Google and Apple are working on developing protocols to alert users of unauthorized monitoring with these devices.

Criminals have been increasingly using AirTags to track cars and potentially steal them due to their small size and affordability. The ease of hiding these devices in cars makes it possible for criminals to monitor their location and eventually steal them for resale. To protect users from unauthorized tracking with Bluetooth location devices like AirTags, Google and Apple are working on developing safeguards that will ensure that users can control their data privacy online.

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