NYPD Is Encouraging New Yorkers to Plant AirTags in Their Cars for Theft Recovery

NYPD chief Jeffrey Maddrey, on Twitter:

The 21st century calls for 21st century policing. AirTags in your car will help us recover your vehicle if it’s stolen. We’ll use our drones, our StarChase technology and good old fashion police work to safely recover your stolen car. Help us help you, get an AirTag.

Juli Clover, at MacRumors:

In an accompanying press conference on Sunday, New York City mayor Eric Adams said that the city will provide 500 free AirTags to car owners. According to CBS News , the AirTags are available to residents in Castle Hill, Soundview, and Parkchester, as these areas have seen a 548 percent increase in stolen Hyundai and Kia vehicles.

This is a case where, ideally, you’d want FindMy (or Apple’s Tracker Detect app for Android) not to notify a potential thief that they’re being tracked by an unknown-to-them AirTag. But we can’t have it both ways. There’s no magic way to mark your AirTag as not being used for stalking.

One spitball idea: Apple could license AirTag technology to be built into third-party products. With cars, they could make it part of the CarPlay system — have an AirTag integrated with the dashboard console system.

Update: I forgot that Apple does license FindMy this way: VanMoof e-bikes have FindMy support. I was reminded of this today by a DF reader who found his stolen bike this week using it.

Monday, 1 May 2023