Tile has announced new Bluetooth tracker features that are designed to deal with theft and deter stalking.
The new Anti-Theft Mode is "a feature designed to protect valuables from theft by increasing the chances of recovery," the company says.
Alongside that, Tile says that it will fine anyone found to be misusing its trackers a cool $1 million. The move is designed to help prevent Tile trackers from being used to stalk people, as has unfortunately been the case with Apple's AirTags.
Small tracker, big fine
Tile announced its new Anti-Theft Mode via a press release, saying that the feature will work by putting trackers into a state that prevents them from being detected by Scan and Secure. That's a feature that's specifically designed to help people find Tile and Tile-enabled devices around them.
"Tile's new feature was designed to protect users' valuables in response to customer demand and during a time when theft and robbery rates are up," the company says. But the issue here is that by preventing trackers from being detectable the company could be making it easier for them to be used for stalking.
Tile reckons it has an answer to that.
"To activate Anti-Theft Mode, users must submit and apply for an advanced ID verification process that includes a biometric scan to accurately detect fake IDs," Tile says via that press release. And there's more. Anyone "convicted in a court of law for using Tile devices to illegally track any individual without their knowledge or consent" will be fined a cool $1 million, the company adds.
That's quite the claim. The new Anti-Theft Mode is grilling out to Tile users over the coming weeks, so we'll see how that goes.
Before this update Tile item trackers were already some of the best AirTag alternatives out there. Whether this new feature changes that fact will very much depend on how many of those $1 million fines get handed out.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.