New iOS 14 feature to prevent AirTags stalking revealed

Airtags Render
Airtags Render (Image credit: Jon Prosser)

What you need to know

  • Apple has a feature in iOS 14 to stop someone stalking you with AirTags.
  • Item Safety Features will prevent an unknown tracking item from broadcasting your location.

A new iOS 14 feature could reveal Apple's answer to the very real question of how to stop someone stalking you with its rumored AirTags tracking device.

Spotted by Benjamin Mayo in the latest iOS 14.5 beta, the new feature in the latest beta is called 'Item Safety Features', as Ben explains:

Something I hadn't considered before: new beta includes a Item Safety setting in Find My. This is how Apple is trying to prevent 'stalking' with AirTags. If someone secretly hides a tag in your possessions, your phone will notice and warn you about it.The setting is on by default which makes sense, but the fact you can turn it off at all probably means that this fires false positive alerts in some circumstances.

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It seems clear the feature is designed to stop someone from dropping an AirTag into your pocket or a bag without your permission or knowledge, before using it to follow you or keep track of your location. The feature will be able to distinguish between tracking devices like AirTags that are paired to your iPhone or Apple ID, and ones that are not, which is very reassuring.

Not just meant for AirTags, it seems reasonable to assume the setting will work with all items in the 'Find My' ecosystem, including Bluetooth Trackers from Tile, Chipolo, and more.

Apple is expected to unveil its AirTags very soon, possibly at a virtual event later this month.

Users have previously noted that Apple has messages in place for users who think their safety might be at risk regarding tracking devices like AirTags.

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Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9