Bluetooth tracking devices are rising in popularity, and consumers are now relying on them to avoid losing important items like their keys, phone, or wallet.
Some of the biggest Bluetooth tagging devices at the moment are Apple’s AirTag, Samsung’s Galaxy SmartTag and Life360′s Tile. Sales are soaring, but many consumers are still concerned about the safety risks that could come up due to safety flaws in the technology.
Recently, there have been several crimes reported involving the use of Bluetooth tagging devices to stalk victims, with several cases being former spouses or romantic partners as well as victims reporting tagging devices taped to their belongings after a night out.
A class-action lawsuit was filed against Apple after two women accused the company of not providing enough protection against stalking. Apple has been working to address these issues and has now retooled its software to improve the safety of its users.
There are also growing concerns that AirTags and other Bluetooth tracking devices are being used to steal cars, and in the last few months, there have been some people posting on social media after finding them on their cars and other belongings.
Apple’s competitor Tile has also announced its own plans to make the devices safer by launching a new feature called “anti-theft” mode, which stops a device from being detected by people other than the owner. It will also require new users to register using multi–factor authentication, including a government ID and biometric data.
To use the device, users will need to agree to new terms of service that mean TIle can provide their personal information to law enforcement services if there’s a criminal investigation. The company also states that anyone violating the terms could face legal action going forward.
These measures aim to deter criminals who are considering using Tile devices for stalking or theft, especially due to Apple’s recent security crackdown on AirTag devices.