by: Ariel Pokett
(KCAU) — The AirTag can be a handy tool in keeping track of keys, pets, luggage, and more, but there are cases in which AirTags can be used in ways they weren’t intended for.
According to a release from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department, there have been reports of using AirTags for unwanted tracking.
The release indicated that there have been reports of using AirTags for stalking, causing a need for tracking safety apps on mobile phones.
The release also indicated that Apple released an app for non-Apple users called ‘Tracker Detect,’ so devices that are nearby can be found. The description of the app on Google Play indicated the app can be used to find a device that someone may be tracking you with.
Officials in Iowa and South Dakota said using the AirTag with ill-intent can lead to profound consequences.
“The most obvious most potential criminal offense could be stalking which is a class 1 misdemeanor,” said South Dakota State Attorney Jerry Miller, “looking at 22-19A-1, it’s defined as willfully maliciously and repeatedly follow or harassing another person.”
Community Policing Sergeant for the Sioux City Police Jeremy McClure said laws aren’t up to date enough to specify tracking devices, but they could still lead up to harassment charges.
“It’s definitely an event that would cause alarm and could lead to a stalking charge depending on who’s doing it and the history of the situation,” McClure said.
Miller and McClure said the most likely situation in which someone would find a tracking device being planted on them would be a result of domestic violence or an abusive relationship. They also said there have been cases where a significant other downloaded a tracking app onto their partner’s phone to track them.
“We’ve had cases where people have hidden cameras in a vehicle and in people’s houses,” said Miller, “So I think if you see something at all suspicious then you should investigate it.”
McClure indicated if you find an AirTag that you believe is being used to track you then you should contact the local authorities immediately. He also said to be aware of surroundings and personal items such as purses and vehicles.