Bluetooth trackers like AirTags and Tile are a great way to keep track of your stuff. But they can be misused in a variety of ways, including stalking. However, anti-stalking steps often thwart anti-theft features because both involve privately tracking the device. Tile thinks it’s found a solution.
This week, Tile announced “Anti-Theft Mode” for its devices. This new mode allows Tile users to track their devices privately when they suspect it’s in possession of a thief. Normally, Tile trackers can be detected by anyone using Tile’s Scan and Secure feature, which allows people to find any Tile tracker within their immediate vicinity. However, while this may be good for potential stalking victims, as it allows them to detect unwanted tracking devices, it also benefits thieves by enabling them to find and disable legitimate trackers on the victim’s property. Scan and Secure could also be misused by thieves to locate potentially valuable items.
Tile believes its come to a compromise on this conundrum. In order to activate Anti-Theft Mode, users must register their device to their identity using a government-issued ID, submit a biometric scan, and agree to be subject to a $1,000,000 fine if they are convicted in a court of law for stalking using a Tile-enabled device. Additionally, users must acknowledge that Tile may disclose personal information to law enforcement to “aid aid in the investigation and prosecution of suspected stalking.”
Tile’s chief competitor in this space, Apple’s AirTags, offers a different solution to the stalking-theft balance. All AirTags are only visible to the Apple user whose AppleID the device is registered to. However, there are several methods for AirTags to alert potential stalking victims that they might be being tracked. For example, their iPhone will notify them when it detects an unknown AirTag following them around. Plus, AirTags that have been away from their owner longer than 24 hours will start chirping. Again, both features help alert those who may be being stalked but also alert thieves to the existence of the tracker.
Source: PR Newswire
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