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AirTags have raked in more than $1 BILLION in profit for Apple

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Apple has made more than $1 billion from its AirTag devices as law enforcement across America push people to use the tech to keep track of their cars amid a nationwide spike. 

New York officials are even going so far as to give 500 of the gadgets out for free to counter the Big Apple’s car theft crime wave.

But while Mayor Eric Adams said the products are an ‘amazing piece of ingenuity’, some argue that the devices have a disturbing downside – they open a loophole for criminals to track victims too. 

According to the Council on Criminal Justice, car thefts in 30 major cities jumped by 59 percent from 2019 to 2022.

This totaled over 37,000 more thefts in 2022 than the year before, sending officials scrambling to find a solution.

AirTags were released by Apple in 2021, and cops are urging motorists to use the tracking devices to monitor their vehicles amid a spike in vehicle thefts 

WHAT ARE AIRTAGS? 

AirTags, released by Apple in 2021, are small, circular tracking devices, about the size of a quarter, retailing for $29 each.  

Users can find personal items that have an AirTag attached – such as wallets, keys, luggage or even a stolen bicycle – by using a map on Apple’s ‘Find My’ app. 

But there are increasing reports that AirTags are being planted on people without their knowledge and their whereabouts tracked on the Find My map.   

Last month, Mayor Adams held a press conference to tout the NYPD’s latest tech-savvy plan to give AirTags to residents in New York’s 43rd precinct.

The district, which covers the southeast region of the Bronx, is one of the city’s worst hit areas at over 200 car thefts since January. 

Urging residents across the city to invest in the devices, the former cop-turned elected official praised the gadget as a potential answer to the city’s theft problems. 

‘This simple AirTag, hidden in a car in a location that a person is not aware of is an excellent tracking device,’ he said as he held up the tiny gadget. 

‘You can hide it anywhere in your car, and you can actually track your car moving.’

New York has seen more 5,400 cases of grand larceny auto so far this year, a 16.5 percent increase compared to this time last year, according to the NYPD crime tracker

But in the month since Adams urged residents to use AirTags, the same figure almost halved, dropping from 1282 cases in April to just 652 in May. 

The NYPD did not immediately respond to a DailyMail.com request for comment. 

While some residents of the 43rd precinct received the tech for free, AirTags are usually available for $29 each, or $99 for four. 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams pictured unveiling a plan to give away AirTags to help motorists and police track stolen vehicles on April 30, 2023

New York City Mayor Eric Adams pictured unveiling a plan to give away AirTags to help motorists and police track stolen vehicles on April 30, 2023

Faced with mounting pressure to curb the crimewave, officials across America may also see AirTags as a way to use new technology to their advantage. 

Notably, the urging from law enforcement to use the devices seemingly overlooks the reaction angry victims could have to discovering their stolen car is nearby. 

In January, a San Antonio man tracked down a thief who took off with his vehicle while an AirTag was inside, following him to a nearby shopping mall parking lot. 

While the vigilante did call the police, he didn’t wait for them to show up, instead confronting the suspect before he took matters into his own hands and shot him dead.

Despite killing the unwitting car thief, the gunman avoided charges, although a San Antonio Police spokesperson insisted at the time: ‘I urge the public to wait for police… let us go with you, we have training.

‘If you are to get your vehicle stolen, please do not take matters into your own hands like this. It’s never safe as you can see by this incident.’ 

Following the incident, Apple rolled out an update that allowed it to work with law enforcement to help them track down stolen AirTags. 

The company introduced a proactive system that alerted people when they were being tracked, adding: ‘We hope this starts an industry trend for others to also provide these sorts of proactive warnings in their products.’ 

However, while people may now be alerted when they are being tracked, the update hasn’t stopped the devices being used by criminals to maliciously target victims. 

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Brooks Nader (pictured) previously disclosed how she found one of the Apple AirTags in her coat after going to a bar for drinks

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Brooks Nader (pictured) previously disclosed how she found one of the Apple AirTags in her coat after going to a bar for drinks

Not long after Apple unveiled AirTags in April 2021, women began coming forward with horror stories of realizing the tracking devices were being used to monitor their movements. 

In January 2021, a young Texas mother found an AirTag taped inside her duffel bag while on a trip to Maine, which she only discovered after 14 hours. 

‘I think they definitely would have hurt me,’ she told Inside Edition. ‘I don’t think you do that for no reason.’ 

But she was not alone, with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit starlet Brooks Nader another unfortunate victim of the troubling trend. 

While model was out with friends at a Manhattan bar in January, she was completely unaware a potential predator had slipped an AirTag into her coat and tracked her home. 

To her horror, the fashion star didn’t realize that the AirTag had been concealed in coat until hours later — after she received a notification on her phone that told her an unknown item had been ‘moving with her for a while’ and that ‘the owner could see its location.’ 

She told DailyMail.com: ‘I went to bathroom left my coat on the chair and that’s when I think someone slipped it in. They then followed me for five hours all the way home.’

Brooks explained that she had ‘never though anything like this could happen to her,’ and said she wanted to share her story in the hopes of educating other women.

She added, ‘I hope that my story can help raise awareness and encourage ladies to look out for this notification and keep their belongings close, especially when out and about.

‘I never thought anything like this could happen to me and it did. If this does happen to you and you find an AirTag, immediately call the police and Apple to track the serial number back to the perpetrator. As women, we need to stick together and warn each other of situations like these.’ 

The tracking device social media users claim can aid stalking: What is an Apple AirTag?

The AirTag tracking device is a small, circular device with an Apple logo at the centre that tracks missing items through the ‘Find My’ app. 

AirTag is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity to pair with an iPhone or iPad. It can be attached to non-tech items like keys or wallets and provides notifications when you become separated from the item. 

The ‘Find My’ app provides step-by-step directions to locate the tag and the missing product to which it’s attached.

Upon it’s release Apple emphasised the device – which was rumoured as far back as September 2019 – is not for tracking people. 

The AirTag tracking device is a small, circular device with an Apple logo at the centre that tracks missing items through the 'Find My' app

The AirTag tracking device is a small, circular device with an Apple logo at the centre that tracks missing items through the ‘Find My’ app 

Ashley Estrada, a small business owner from LA, went viral after allegedly discovering an Apple AirTag hidden behind the license plate of her car

In a video shared to TikTok , the 24-year-old showed viewers an AirTag stating: 'I'm literally f***** shaking ¿ look what I just found on my car.'

Ashley Estrada, a small business owner from LA, went viral after allegedly discovering an Apple AirTag hidden behind the license plate of her car. In a video shared to TikTok , the 24-year-old showed viewers an AirTag stating: ‘I’m literally f***** shaking – look what I just found on my car.’

However in recent months social media users have shared growing concern about these devices being used to aid stalking and theft. 

Ashley Estrada, a small business owner from LA, went viral after allegedly discovering an Apple AirTag hidden behind the license plate of her car. 

In a video shared to TikTok, the 24-year-old showed viewers an AirTag stating: ‘I’m literally f***** shaking – look what I just found on my car.’ 

In a separate video she explained: ‘I was hanging out with my cousin’s girlfriend, and next thing you know she gets a notification on her phone, which is how we found out, because it told us. 

 ‘It says first seen at 7:34, so that’s when they put it on my car. Then it said “Play Sound”, which is what we did…and this is how we were able to detect where it was at on my car.’ 

Last year it was revealed that thieves were using Apple AirTags to track high-end vehicles.

Police in the York region of Ontario, Canada , recorded at least five incidents in a matter of weeks where the devices had been used to track cars.

Days after the gadget’s release, a German security researcher who goes by the name  Stack Smashing revealed he was able to hack into one of the devices. 

The IT researcher said he was able to ‘dump the firmware and some important areas,’ essentially modifying the device’s tracking software.    


Apple has made more than $1 billion from its AirTag devices as law enforcement across America push people to use the tech to keep track of their cars amid a nationwide spike. 

New York officials are even going so far as to give 500 of the gadgets out for free to counter the Big Apple’s car theft crime wave.

But while Mayor Eric Adams said the products are an ‘amazing piece of ingenuity’, some argue that the devices have a disturbing downside – they open a loophole for criminals to track victims too. 

According to the Council on Criminal Justice, car thefts in 30 major cities jumped by 59 percent from 2019 to 2022.

This totaled over 37,000 more thefts in 2022 than the year before, sending officials scrambling to find a solution.

AirTags were released by Apple in 2021, and cops are urging motorists to use the tracking devices to monitor their vehicles amid a spike in vehicle thefts

AirTags were released by Apple in 2021, and cops are urging motorists to use the tracking devices to monitor their vehicles amid a spike in vehicle thefts 

WHAT ARE AIRTAGS? 

AirTags, released by Apple in 2021, are small, circular tracking devices, about the size of a quarter, retailing for $29 each.  

Users can find personal items that have an AirTag attached – such as wallets, keys, luggage or even a stolen bicycle – by using a map on Apple’s ‘Find My’ app. 

But there are increasing reports that AirTags are being planted on people without their knowledge and their whereabouts tracked on the Find My map.   

Last month, Mayor Adams held a press conference to tout the NYPD’s latest tech-savvy plan to give AirTags to residents in New York’s 43rd precinct.

The district, which covers the southeast region of the Bronx, is one of the city’s worst hit areas at over 200 car thefts since January. 

Urging residents across the city to invest in the devices, the former cop-turned elected official praised the gadget as a potential answer to the city’s theft problems. 

‘This simple AirTag, hidden in a car in a location that a person is not aware of is an excellent tracking device,’ he said as he held up the tiny gadget. 

‘You can hide it anywhere in your car, and you can actually track your car moving.’

New York has seen more 5,400 cases of grand larceny auto so far this year, a 16.5 percent increase compared to this time last year, according to the NYPD crime tracker

But in the month since Adams urged residents to use AirTags, the same figure almost halved, dropping from 1282 cases in April to just 652 in May. 

The NYPD did not immediately respond to a DailyMail.com request for comment. 

While some residents of the 43rd precinct received the tech for free, AirTags are usually available for $29 each, or $99 for four. 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams pictured unveiling a plan to give away AirTags to help motorists and police track stolen vehicles on April 30, 2023

New York City Mayor Eric Adams pictured unveiling a plan to give away AirTags to help motorists and police track stolen vehicles on April 30, 2023

Faced with mounting pressure to curb the crimewave, officials across America may also see AirTags as a way to use new technology to their advantage. 

Notably, the urging from law enforcement to use the devices seemingly overlooks the reaction angry victims could have to discovering their stolen car is nearby. 

In January, a San Antonio man tracked down a thief who took off with his vehicle while an AirTag was inside, following him to a nearby shopping mall parking lot. 

While the vigilante did call the police, he didn’t wait for them to show up, instead confronting the suspect before he took matters into his own hands and shot him dead.

Despite killing the unwitting car thief, the gunman avoided charges, although a San Antonio Police spokesperson insisted at the time: ‘I urge the public to wait for police… let us go with you, we have training.

‘If you are to get your vehicle stolen, please do not take matters into your own hands like this. It’s never safe as you can see by this incident.’ 

Following the incident, Apple rolled out an update that allowed it to work with law enforcement to help them track down stolen AirTags. 

The company introduced a proactive system that alerted people when they were being tracked, adding: ‘We hope this starts an industry trend for others to also provide these sorts of proactive warnings in their products.’ 

However, while people may now be alerted when they are being tracked, the update hasn’t stopped the devices being used by criminals to maliciously target victims. 

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Brooks Nader (pictured) previously disclosed how she found one of the Apple AirTags in her coat after going to a bar for drinks

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Brooks Nader (pictured) previously disclosed how she found one of the Apple AirTags in her coat after going to a bar for drinks

Not long after Apple unveiled AirTags in April 2021, women began coming forward with horror stories of realizing the tracking devices were being used to monitor their movements. 

In January 2021, a young Texas mother found an AirTag taped inside her duffel bag while on a trip to Maine, which she only discovered after 14 hours. 

‘I think they definitely would have hurt me,’ she told Inside Edition. ‘I don’t think you do that for no reason.’ 

But she was not alone, with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit starlet Brooks Nader another unfortunate victim of the troubling trend. 

While model was out with friends at a Manhattan bar in January, she was completely unaware a potential predator had slipped an AirTag into her coat and tracked her home. 

To her horror, the fashion star didn’t realize that the AirTag had been concealed in coat until hours later — after she received a notification on her phone that told her an unknown item had been ‘moving with her for a while’ and that ‘the owner could see its location.’ 

She told DailyMail.com: ‘I went to bathroom left my coat on the chair and that’s when I think someone slipped it in. They then followed me for five hours all the way home.’

Brooks explained that she had ‘never though anything like this could happen to her,’ and said she wanted to share her story in the hopes of educating other women.

She added, ‘I hope that my story can help raise awareness and encourage ladies to look out for this notification and keep their belongings close, especially when out and about.

‘I never thought anything like this could happen to me and it did. If this does happen to you and you find an AirTag, immediately call the police and Apple to track the serial number back to the perpetrator. As women, we need to stick together and warn each other of situations like these.’ 

The tracking device social media users claim can aid stalking: What is an Apple AirTag?

The AirTag tracking device is a small, circular device with an Apple logo at the centre that tracks missing items through the ‘Find My’ app. 

AirTag is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity to pair with an iPhone or iPad. It can be attached to non-tech items like keys or wallets and provides notifications when you become separated from the item. 

The ‘Find My’ app provides step-by-step directions to locate the tag and the missing product to which it’s attached.

Upon it’s release Apple emphasised the device – which was rumoured as far back as September 2019 – is not for tracking people. 

The AirTag tracking device is a small, circular device with an Apple logo at the centre that tracks missing items through the 'Find My' app

The AirTag tracking device is a small, circular device with an Apple logo at the centre that tracks missing items through the ‘Find My’ app 

Ashley Estrada, a small business owner from LA, went viral after allegedly discovering an Apple AirTag hidden behind the license plate of her car

In a video shared to TikTok , the 24-year-old showed viewers an AirTag stating: 'I'm literally f***** shaking ¿ look what I just found on my car.'

Ashley Estrada, a small business owner from LA, went viral after allegedly discovering an Apple AirTag hidden behind the license plate of her car. In a video shared to TikTok , the 24-year-old showed viewers an AirTag stating: ‘I’m literally f***** shaking – look what I just found on my car.’

However in recent months social media users have shared growing concern about these devices being used to aid stalking and theft. 

Ashley Estrada, a small business owner from LA, went viral after allegedly discovering an Apple AirTag hidden behind the license plate of her car. 

In a video shared to TikTok, the 24-year-old showed viewers an AirTag stating: ‘I’m literally f***** shaking – look what I just found on my car.’ 

In a separate video she explained: ‘I was hanging out with my cousin’s girlfriend, and next thing you know she gets a notification on her phone, which is how we found out, because it told us. 

 ‘It says first seen at 7:34, so that’s when they put it on my car. Then it said “Play Sound”, which is what we did…and this is how we were able to detect where it was at on my car.’ 

Last year it was revealed that thieves were using Apple AirTags to track high-end vehicles.

Police in the York region of Ontario, Canada , recorded at least five incidents in a matter of weeks where the devices had been used to track cars.

Days after the gadget’s release, a German security researcher who goes by the name  Stack Smashing revealed he was able to hack into one of the devices. 

The IT researcher said he was able to ‘dump the firmware and some important areas,’ essentially modifying the device’s tracking software.    

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