New York: New Anti-Stalking iPhone Update Could Save Your Life
Any New Yorker that owns an iPhone needs to update to the newest iOS immediately. This update contains a new anti-stalking measure that could save the life of you or a loved one.
When Apple released the AirTag in April of 2021, it came with a massive wave of warning from the law enforcement community. The 1.26-inch device was made to be attached to keys, purses, and bags so that a user could find it anytime from their phone. For $29 for one or $99 for four, you get your own tiny tracking device.
A Criminal's Best Friend?
To stalkers, car thieves, and human traffickers, this was a windfall – cheap tech that’s easily hidden and gives the location of anyone tagged straight to an iPhone. Also the device doesn’t need charging - the battery on an AirTag is a standard watch-size battery and lasts for about a year. There are stories of women having AirTags attached to their auto wheel-wells or slipped in their purses at bars, grocery stores, and while traveling.
In an attempt to curtail criminal use of the feature, iPhones can detect an outsider’s AirTag traveling with you and send you an alert on your home screen that someone may be tracking you. iOS update 16.2 adds a new precision feature to help find the device on your person.
Previously if an unwanted AirTag was detected, the only way to find it was to have the iPhone ping the tag and make the tracker make a noise for a few seconds. For hidden tags, this could still keep finding the AirTag difficult, as it could be hidden on a car’s undercarriage or somewhere else unexpected or hard to reach.
With iOS 16.2, Precision Finding has been enabled to point you to the exact location and distance of a rogue AirTag. Unfortunately, this feature only works on iPhone 11 or newer. If your iPhone is from before 2019, it can only use the old audio-location method. If you own an Android phone, you can download the “Tracker Detect” app from Apple that will alert you of nearby AirTags the same way.