MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Air Tags are tracking devices and a perfect way to keep up with your property, but there have been more cases of people using air tags for more than tracking things.
They are small and can be put almost anywhere.
Jennifer Perkins spoke with our “sister” station in Louisiana and said she was once tracked by an Apple Air Tag.
“When I got home, I got a notification on my phone, and it showed everywhere I went that night,” Perkins said. “And it has like a red dot of where they checked your location. It says your current location can be seen by the owner of this item.”
WREG recruited one of our own employees, Lisa, to show you how it works. Before heading to lunch, she agreed to let us track her by using an air tag in her purse.
As Lisa heads to lunch, WREG could see her location from the Air Tag on an office computer through the “Find My Device” app. Minutes later, the location moved as Lisa began driving. When we called her to verify her location, she confirmed that she was at the location that the Air Tag pinpointed.
Because the Air Tag is not a GPS system, WREG found it to be slightly delayed but still able to pinpoint Lisa’s vicinity within a certain amount of distance.
Robert Young knows about tracking people. He is a former narcotics detective and now owns Covert Results Private Investigations in Nashville.
“There are obviously laws in place now that protect people against being tracked or where GPS devices are illegally placed on vehicles,” Young said.
His company tested Air Tag and said it was great for pinpointing lost items and even has a feature where the owner can disable it.
“There could be a host of reasons that this thing is useful,” Young said, “but based on my background in law enforcement and what I do now, I can’t help but think that most people are buying these thinking that they may have to track someone so that is definitely a concern.”
It can be a real issue in domestic situations where victims may be trying to get away from an abuser. The Executive Director of the Family Safety Center said tools like trackers can be flipped and cause added danger.
“The tracking technology makes it a lot easier for a stalker,” Ethele Hilliard said. “You might have to have your car checked. You might have to have things like that scanned once in a while to see if you are being tracked.”
This is why the Family Safety Center stresses clients to be aware of their surroundings and check their belongings.
Apple has issued a personal safety user guide, which includes how “Find My Network” can notify you if an unknown Air Tag is detected moving with you over time and guide you how to disable it. Android users can also scan for unwanted Air Tags with the “Tracker Detect” app.
Air Tags can also make a sound if they are separated from their owner over a period of time.
“I would just as always, I caution people just keep your head on a swivel and you know just be alert of everything going on,” Young said.