Apple AirTag get a free upgrade designed to deter stalkers

The latest measure adds extra protection for those who have an AirTag left on their person without realising

Apple AirTag
(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple AirTag is a remarkable device. The concept is effortlessly simple – a small disc-shaped object that features location tracking technology similar to what you might find in the best iPhone, iPad and MacBook models.

By extracting that functionality, and placing it into a portable housing, users can track objects that don't have smart functionality. For example, you can attach an AirTag to your keys or your wallet and keep track of it on the Find My app, just as you would for your tech devices.

But the functionality has a fairly substantial drawback – being able to track objects to within feet of their true location, means you can also track people to within feet of their true location. That's a problem that Apple has been contending with for years, as people misuse the devices to track and stalk people.

There are multiple lawsuits (opens in new tab) currently open against Apple, from those who say that the Cupertino-based tech giant hasn't done enough to protect against this kind of illicit behaviour. With that in mind, Apple have been continually updating software for the AirTag, with the hope of making it easier to protect against unlawful use.

In the latest firmware update – AirTag firmware 2.0.24 (opens in new tab) – Apple has improved the way this works. A new feature called Precision Finding will enable your iPhone to notify you when an unknown AirTag is detected moving with you. It works by picking up the signal of an AirTag that isn't tied to your Apple ID and alerting you to its presence. You'll need to have an iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13 or iPhone 14 model in order to enable the feature, and you'll need to be updated to iOS 16.2. 

As part of the update, you'll also get a notification telling you if an AirTag which has been separated from its owner is travelling with you. This will also cause it to emit a noise to help you locate the device.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.