“Everybody’s had something like this stolen from them and wished they had gotten it back, had some agency in that scenario, had something they could do,” said Dan Guido, a technology CEO in Brooklyn who got his electric scooter back using AirTags. “It feels empowering and feels accessible, that’s what’s attractive about it.”
Apple has been careful to never say AirTags can be used to recover stolen property. The marketing for the device is light and wholesome, focusing on situations like lost keys between sofa cushions. The official tagline is “Lose your knack for losing things” and there’s no mention of crime, theft or stealing in any of the ads, webpages or support documents.
But in reality, the company has built a network that is ideal for that exact use case. Every compatible iPhone, iPad and Mac is being silently put to work as a location device without their owners knowing when it happens. The same applies for the Samsung and Tile tracker devices.