Bitter pill: AirTag helps drug investigators find criminals

A case has become known in the USA in which AirTags were used by drug investigators to track down possible criminals. According to a report by Forbes, the Drug Enforcement Agency tagged a package from China containing a pill press with Apple’s tracking device to trace its path. In fact, charges were later filed against the recipient.

Released in 2021, the coin-sized AirTags, originally designed by Apple for users to use to locate keys and other items, are now being used in law enforcement. So far, the police have always come into play in known cases to investigate the misuse of the AirTags, which were apparently used in various cases to stalk people.

One of the ways Apple has responded is that AirTags that have been inserted make themselves known by beeping if they are away from the connected iPhone for a long time. Apparently, that didn’t stop drug investigators in the US from using an AirTag for the package from China. A court search warrant allowed officers to remotely track the AirTag for 45 days.

A former police officer told Forbes that drug-related offenders are also becoming more proficient at spotting surveillance technology. An AirTag is easy to hide and a rather unusual way. Apple’s tracking device is tracked via Bluetooth in the worldwide network of iPhones and iPads. As a result, it sometimes disappears from the “radar” if there is no Apple device nearby.

In the summer of 2022, the AirTags also enjoyed great popularity as luggage trackers. When there was a spirit of optimism after the Corona travel restrictions were lifted, luggage piled up at some airports. The AirTags offered a cheap and, at least in the gray area, acceptable way of being able to track your own suitcase.

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