Today in Mark of the Beast news:

(I tried to find a funny "Apple / Mark of the Beast" thumbnail, but it was just depressing because those people aren't joking.)
Surprisingly, Apple AirTag has built-in anti-stalking tech:

Unfortunately like the discreet Tile product they're modeled on, AirTags sound like a gift from Apple to stalkers and people who'd use them to track the location and movements of unsuspecting victims. For the one in four U.S. women experiencing domestic violence the chime of a found AirTag would be the sound of a nightmare becoming reality. [...]

Essentially, an item in iPhone's Safety Alerts section will let you know when a creep slips an AirTag into your bag, in your car, or any hidden spot in which a physical location tracker could hide. This is an industry first: no other location tracker notifies unsuspecting victims they've been targeted for nonconsensual tracking.

According to Apple's Newsroom release, "iOS devices can also detect an AirTag that isn't with its owner, and notify the user if an unknown AirTag is seen to be traveling with them from place to place over time." That's because Apple designed AirTag to frequently rotate the Bluetooth signal identifiers they transmit. So when the identifiers don't add up, Apple goes into "something is wrong" mode.

Pinboard:

The invention of a costly free-range dongle with no device to attach to marks the apotheosis of a 30-year arc in Apple product design.


Update: Yeah, no.

Now that people are trying out Apple’s AirTags IRL, we’re finding out they are truly a gift to stalkers and abusers. It takes three days before they alert people they’re being tracked (so someone may never know), victims with Android phones are shit out of luck, and disabling the alert sound isn’t hard. Those anti-stalking features they told us about at release quite literally only looked good on paper.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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13 Responses:

  1. Nathan Roberts says:

    Actually, the really surprising part is, they even included a feature for non-IOS users to detect an unauthorized tag.

    And even if users don’t have an iOS device, an AirTag separated from its owner for an extended period of time will play a sound when moved to draw attention to it.

    I was fully expecting Apple to make you buy an iPhone just to be able to detect their own stalking technology.

    (I do still wonder if that's adequate warning, especially depending on their definition of 'extended period of time')

  2. Dude says:

    Not bad... if only they were as vigilant about keeping Nazis out of the App Store.

  3. phuzz says:

    I thought that image was a still from Red Dwarf for a moment.
    Now I'm wondering why those faces look familiar, where's it from?

    • Andrew Klossner says:

      Photo is from "Amazing Facts: Bible Study Guide: Lesson #20: The Mark of the Beast"., which argues that the beast is the Papacy.

      • apm74 says:

        Google reverse image search says it can be found on a bunch of web pages arguing for different Marks of the Beast.

        • phuzz says:

          Yeah, it's clearly ended up as a stock image now, but I have this nagging feeling that it was originally a publicity shot for some TV show (possibly the red marks have been photoshopped on later?).
          I'm thinking 90's-00's BBC series, perhaps something that never made it out of the UK. I'm sure I recognise the guy in the middle as being not an actor, but the producer or writer or something.
          Gah! This is going to keep nagging at me now.

          • apm74 says:

            Agree, it does look like it might have originated from a 2000-era TV/movie website, too long ago for Google to trace back it's heritage/provenance. The guy on the right looks a lot like Jonny Lee Miller, FWIW.

    • Not Frank says:

      I feel like those in the photo bear a resemblance to a subset of the Firefly crew.

  4. Doctor Memory says:

    I'm sure that this is only the opening move in what's going to turn out to be yet another grim arms race, but someone inside 1IL deserves some serious kudos for actually thinking about this.

  5. Doesn't this make the tags useless for theft protection? Since the stolen object will alert the thief that they are being tracked?

    • Eric says:

      Yes, though Apple's marketing about their "Find My" feature has always been more about helping you recover stuff you misplaced absentmindedly than retrieving stolen goods.

      That said, a typical pawnshop is going to have some questions if a meth addict shows up with a bicycle that's making a beeping sound.

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