The BBC has reported that several women in the United States have been stalked by unknown people that have covertly attached Apple’s AirTags into handbags or attached them to cars. While iOS devices will let you know after a while that an unregistered AirTag is travelling around with you, no such protection exists on Android natively, for this reason, Android users are encouraged to download Apple’s Tracker Detect app.
Apple's AirTag was designed by Apple to be attached to car keys and other items to help you easily locate your items. Due to their small size, criminals have turned to them to stalk people and even with the existing protections, you may have already given your home address away to a malicious actor.
The two main protections that AirTags offer are the alerts to iOS and Android users (if they have the app) to let them know an unregistered AirTag has been sharing their location, and a beeping noise that will sound from the device if it has been separated from the owner for 8-24 hours and has been seen travelling with an unregistered device. Apparently, this latter protection isn’t great because it’s easy for a bad actor to disable the AirTag before it starts making a noise but long enough after a target has given away their address.
While neither of the protections goes far enough to protect people, one thing that Android users can do to boost their security is to install the Tracker Detect app. While there are billions of users of Android phones, just 100,000 people have installed the Tracker Detect app which suggests people are unaware the app even exists.