A user put an AirTag in a package they sent to a friend and successfully tracked it as it traveled across the UK. This basically means there was an iPhone nearby, which can help pinpoint its location at every step of the journey. This is just further confirmation of the power of Apple’s Find My network.
Apple officially says that an AirTag should help you find your lost items like keys. However, this latest AirTag trip in the postal service shows that with a little technical knowledge, you can also track an item while it’s moving. Now don’t imagine a movie action scene where the hero chases a car at 100 km / h in real time, but still tracks the location of an object every minute with AirTags.
Interestingly, this is actually the second time we’ve heard of something on this scale as before YouTuber in the Netherlands managed to track a different package with an AirTag when it was traveling on Dutch postal services.
Back to UK history: the user, Intego’s Kirk McElhearn, was able to locate the AirTag first at a local sorting station and then en route in a van to a mail center, then to a sorting center, and finally to a friend’s house. Once the package with the AirTag arrives at its destination, it does not seem to have notified the recipient in any way, even after the AirTag has not been home for days:
After the AirTag was delivered, my friend left the envelope on a table in his house. He has an iPhone so I expected that after a while he would be informed of the presence of the AirTag. According to Apple, anyone who is in the presence of an AirTag that has been disconnected from its owner three days long receive a notification on their iPhone. You should get the message “AirTag Found Moving With You”. It is possible that this warning will only appear if the person is actually moving with the AirTag, but that seems a bit limiting. Imagine leaving an AirTag in a bag at someone’s home, but they don’t take the bag with them right away. Should it be three days before they are alerted? Apple is not clear enough about how AirTags can be used by stalkers.
This raises all sorts of questions. Because an AirTag is so small and it’s easy for someone to slip one into your backpack or wallet without you noticing, Apple built in protections so people can’t covertly track your location, but it’s not sure how these protective measures are actually helpful.
The AirTag displayed the friend’s location but never alerted the person who might be being followed
Apple says that “If someone else’s AirTag gets into your content, your iPhone detects they’re with you and sends you a notification. If you haven’t found it after a while, the AirTag plays a sound to let you know . ” it is there.” That will then be clarified further “If you happen to be with a friend who has an AirTag, or on a train with a bunch of people with AirTag, don’t worry. These alerts only go off when an AirTag is disconnected from its owner.”
Note that Apple says an AirTag will only notify you when “it travels with you”, but says nothing about a case, as explained above, in which an AirTag arrives with a package by post and post remains then with you. And the fact that the friend who received the package never heard a signal that would help them realize they were being followed is worrying.
You can read the full story about the AirTag’s journey across the UK and how it successfully reported its location every step of the way Mac Security Blog at Intego.