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Tile slams Apple AirTags feature for assisting thieves

Tile, the company behind the eponymous item trackers, says the rival Apple AirTag can be helpful to thieves who abscond with user’s possessions.

Tile says the Apple safety feature that notifies people when a rogue tag is travelling with them, could actually make thieves aware the item is being actively tracked by an AirTag owner.

“Unlike other Bluetooth trackers on the market, namely AirTags, Tile does not notify nearby smartphone users when an unknown Bluetooth tracker is traveling with them,” the company writes in a press release.

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“These proactive notifications can communicate to thieves that a tracker is on the stolen item, allowing them to remove it and making recovering the item less likely.”

Apple’s feature is designed as an anti-stalking measure, something Tile calls “insufficient” and today it is launching a new feature that’ll tie their account to a government issued ID in order to discourage nefarious use. It is also issuing a $1m fine for anyone who is convicted in court of stalking when using a Tile tracker.

The comments come as the company introduces a new anti-theft mode that aims to prevent thieves from discovering the item they have stolen is being actively tracked.

In a blog post, Tile says the update will prevent thieves using the Tile app’s Scan and Secure feature to look around them for trackers in their vicinity.

Making your Tiles invisible to those around you will make it more likely to recover your stolen possessions as the thief will be less able to find the tracker. So, for example, if you’ve put a Tile Slim in your wallet, that card will remain invisible on the thief’s Tile app if they attempt to locate it. Of course they can still manually rifle through.

“Tile’s Anti-Theft Mode lets you hide your Tiles from scans made by others, making them invisible to those around you. Why is this important? If a thief uses Scan and Secure, they cannot detect those Tiles on/in your tracked possessions, increasing the chances of you being able to recover your stolen item,” the post says.

Scan and Secure is, in general, a helpful feature that enables users to scan for Tile trackers around them that can help users help each other locate devices. Like most things, though, it has been used for nefarious means.

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