922-923: Air Tags

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New member
May 17, 2023
Regarding Android and Air Tags, there is an app call AirGuard that I have been using for a couple of years. It notices Air Tag, Find My Device, Air Pods, Apple Device, and Tile.

It can provide notifications. It can instruct the device to play a sound. It can use NFC to learn more about the device.

AirGuard seems to implement most of what was discussed.

I've been using this app for a couple of years. I drive a school bus and occasionally get notified of new trackers following me, especially after Christmas or a student birthday.

So, anybody looking for an Android solution doesn't need to wait for a system update.
Seems that in the future air tags will be paired with an account identity. However, how hard is it to make a fake apple account? Haven't opened one in a while, so don't know if you need a phone number, but there are burner phones, and sms accounts that don't need a phone. Also, you can use an itunes gift card to get away from needing a cc.

Sound as if air tags will only be linked to regular people, and malicious tags won't have a real person related to them. Phones already link you to a bunch of services (cell service, phone maker, any app that phones home, etc.). So how hackable will this db be? We have seen almost nothing is ever secure, and some stalker might be able to get your data from the tags.

Also, the phones might need to change the way they work. I don't need to use bluetooth, so I keep it off. Many years ago, I had a jailbreak addition that would turn it on when I left certain locations, and disconnect it under certain conditions. I keep bluetooth off partly because I don't use it, but mainly for security concerns.

However, phones would need to scan for bluetooth devices regularly if disabled. This is mainly for security concerns. So the phone would need to activate bluetooth regularly, scan, and disable it. I know apple keeps trying to activate it, and I keep turning it off, but would mind if it only turns on momentarily to see what is around.

Just finding an unknown air tag, doesn't mean these are malicious, even when they travel with you. You might be on a plane (many in the cargo hold might not show up, since these are in a faraday cage), train, bus or sharing a ride, and there could be multiple tags. So there would need to be some options the user can configure. Something like scan every x minutes when off, warn after x minutes when unknown tags are found, report unknown tags to the mothership when bluetooth is off, etc.
I just installed AirGuard on my Android phone yesterday. It seems to auto scan about every 15 or 20 minutes. So far it hasn't picked up anything, but I haven't been up and about much with it yet. I turned on Bluetooth for the app to use, it had been off since I had no use for it on that phone. I haven't checked, but if it is available on iPhones I'll probably install it there as well. My iPhone almost never leaves the house so I don't think it will pick up anything. At least for now the app is more of an interesting curiosity. I think it unlikely it will ever pick up anything of interest, and hopefully it never does.

After listening to the SN podcasts on tracking I may just pick up an Airtag to play with. I'll have to think of something more useful to use it for than a zipper pull first. Unfortunately laptops and most consumer electronic devices don't have any space inside to slip anything into, and my key chain already has enough stuff hanging off it. Guess I can leave it in the car in case I get lost :)