Apple updates AirTags after privacy concerns over tracking without consent

The tech giant is also working on an Android app to notify non-iOS users.
The tech giant is also working on an Android app to notify non-iOS users Photo credit: Getty Images

Apple has announced changes to how AirTags notify users when they are separated from their owner amid privacy concerns.

AirTags are wireless devices that attach to belongings so if they're lost they can be tracked, but there have been privacy concerns around being able to track someone without their consent.

At launch, the AirTags would play a noise after three days separation but a firmware update rolling out, starting today, will change that to a random time within an interval of eight to 24 hours after separation.

"The recent introduction of AirTags included industry-first proactive features that discourage unwanted tracking," Apple said in a statement to CNET.

The tech company is also developing an app for Android users that will detect Find My enabled accessories, including AirTags, that are travelling with them.

iPhones already have this feature. An "AirTag Found Moving With You" message appears on screen after separation from the person who registered it.

AirTags will automatically update to the latest firmware version when they are in range of the owner's iPhone.