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Alleged abuser strapped an Apple Watch to his girlfriend's car so he could track her

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watchOS 7 Shortcuts Complications (Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

What you need to know

  • An Apple Watch was reportedly used to track a man's girlfriend as she tried to escape him.
  • AirTags have recently become the go-to accessory for wrongdoers but an Apple Watch was used in this instance.

In a world where AirTags are increasingly being used to track people instead of objects, a new report highlights an alleged abuser who strapped an Apple Watch to his girlfriend's car so he could follow her whereabouts.

According to local reports, a man was arrested when police found the Apple Watch attached to his girlfriend's wheel after he had followed her to a Family Safety Center. The woman had gone there to "get an order of protection" before he arrived.

According to the affidavit, officers arrived at the Family Safety Center on Murfreesboro Pike after a call from security that the boyfriend and the victim, who was trying to get an order of protection, had showed up at the center.The victim told police that the boyfriend had threatened to kill her multiple times. She had come to the Family Safety Center in the past. She said she and [the man] used the Life360 app to keep tabs on each other's whereabouts, but that she had deactivated the app before coming to the Family Safety Centers prior and had been receiving texts from him demanding to know her whereabouts and telling her to call him.

When the man arrived he was seen squatting beside the woman's car, looking at the wheel. Police later checked the car and found an Apple Watch. The man confirmed it was his.

While AirTag trackers have gained a bad name of late due to some high-profile instances of misuse, this is a prime example of how other technology can be used to track people without their knowledge.

As always, good technology in the hands of bad people doesn't automatically become bad technology. Apple has already begun to put changes in motion that should help make AirTags less useful to stalkers.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

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.