Three trackers tested, “New York Times”: AirTag privacy is the best

Products such as Bluetooth trackers and GPS trackers have been quite controversial since they were launched. Although these products are well-designed to track their lost items, there are always some people who want to use trackers. to follow others. Among this type of products, the one that attracts the most attention from consumers is Apple, which announced the new AirTag software update policy a few days ago. However, according to the latest report by Kashmir Hill of The New York Times, after comparing AirTag, Tile, and GPS tracker LandAirSea, she believes that AirTag is actually the best in terms of people’s privacy protection.

Kashmir Hill pointed out in her own report that with the permission of her husband, she hid AirTag, Tile and LandAirSea randomly by her husband’s side (maybe in a coat, bag, or in the car), let’s take a look Whether these three trackers are really effective in tracking, and what are the strengths of these three products.

The first time she tracked her husband was when Kashmir Hill asked her husband to drive their Covid-19 daughter to a hospital emergency, using the AirTag in the car seat map pocket, the Tile next to the dashboard, and the car glove box LandAirSea inside to track whether her husband sent her daughter to the hospital emergency room as she requested.

Half an hour after Kashmir Hill’s husband and daughter set off, she opened the mobile app to connect with the LandAirSea device. In the app, there is a feature called InstaFence, which can get reminder messages when the car is moving, because It’s a GPS tracker, so all tracking information is real-time, and there’s a “replay” option in this feature that lets her know where her husband is driving.

The Kashmir Hill family lives in a sparsely populated area, so she believes that in such a situation, the performance of AirTag and Tile is absolutely inferior to LandAirSea, which is positioned with GPS; It is to use other Apple products to build a huge network) to play a positioning function.

AirTag and Tile are not very effective in places where people are inaccessible, but if it is in downtown New York, where everyone has an iPhone, it may not be the same. Kashmir Hill’s husband went to New York for a trip alone one day, so she put AirTag, Tile and LandAirSea in her husband’s backpack respectively; every time her husband went to a new location, AirTag would be sent back to her iPhone, Therefore, Kashmir Hill also sent a photographer to receive her messages at any time, and went to the place she designated to check whether her husband was really there, and if so, take a picture of her husband.

From the moment Kashmir Hill’s husband stepped into Manhattan, AirTag became the most powerful tracking tool, and its performance far surpassed the GPS-based LandAirSea; while Tile’s operating principle was similar to AirTag, it would The number of users who have the Tile app installed on their phones is far lower than the number of Apple devices, so Tile is still not as powerful as AirTag.

In addition, there is a considerable difference between AirTag and Tile products, that is, when the iPhone detects that an unknown AirTag is continuously tracking itself, the tracked iPhone user will receive a warning notification. And you can know where you started being tracked by this unknown AirTag. Of course, Android can also know whether it has been tracked by AirTag, but it has to download the application designed by Apple for Android users in advance.

Kashmir Hill’s husband owns an iPhone, so two hours after being tracked, his iPhone popped up that he was being tracked by an unknown AirTag. In the system alert, he was reminded that he could press “play sound” to find the AirTag, but Kashmir Hill’s husband’s iPhone could not successfully connect to the AirTag, so he could not find the AirTag by playing the sound.

Kashmir Hill believes that some of the AirTag critics are right. Although Apple has taken some precautions against the malicious use of AirTag, malicious users can use AirTag to commit crimes as long as they have the heart. But if you compare these three trackers, AirTag’s privacy protection is still higher than the other two devices.

Kashmir Hill also asked her husband’s thoughts on being tracked. He believes that AirTag has received almost all users’ criticism of tracker products, and AirTag’s current anti-tracking mechanism is still quite weak, but at least he has been receiving it. Notifications tracked by AirTag; by comparison, being tracked by other trackers is actually more serious.

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