The mayor has announced that 500 AirTags, provided by a local charity, will be distributed to municipal residents. Apple AirTags are small GPS trackers that can be affixed to valuables or other items to help maintain tabs on them.
“The aggravated number of grand larceny autos continues to drive up crime in our city,” Adams said at a press conference. This “simple device,” this “simple AirTag,” installed in an undisclosed spot in a car, “is an excellent tracking device,”
It’s simple to keep an eye on. The mayor further noted that the whereabouts of the vehicle could be tracked in real-time.
Adams said the police, even in the Bronx’s crime-ridden 43rd Precinct, will distribute the 500 AirTags.
According to Adams at the news conference, held at the nearby Castle Hill, “we’re going to be handing them out in this precinct,” where there has been a recent uptick in cases of grand larceny auto.
Use of Apple AirTags
Apple AirTags have been used maliciously in the past, despite their usefulness in helping automobile owners maintain track of their vehicles. Ohio state legislators have lately voiced interest in prohibiting them due to concerns about stalking.
“Obviously, technology can be a great thing for convenience, for safety, but it can also be a dangerous thing, and that’s what we’re seeing with these tracking devices,” said Republican Senator Nathan Manning.
An AirTag was discovered in the engine compartment of a marked NYPD vehicle in January. Housing Bureau Chief Martine Materasso of the New York Police Department issued a reminder to all officers to be vigilant with their vehicles in light of growing anti-police sentiment after the finding.
Apple issued a statement in February strongly condemning the inappropriate usage of AirTags.
Apple stated, “AirTag was designed to help people locate their personal belongings, not to track people or another person’s property,” strongly condemning any harmful use of their goods. “We took this concern seriously in the design of AirTag because unwanted tracking has long been a societal problem.”