APPLE has announced significant plans to update its AirTag and Find My Network tracking devices amid concerns over 'unwanted tracking'.

There have been a number of reports in the US where people have claimed to have tracked using AirTags without their consent, raising privacy concerns.

AirTags were launched in April 2021 to help users keep track of personal items such as keys, wallets and bags by attaching an AirTag to them and locating them if lost through the 'Find My' app.

The tech giant said that, based on its own knowledge and discussions with law enforcement, incidents of AirTag misuse were rare but that “each instance is one too many”.

South Wales Argus: iPhone on a desk. Credit: CanvaiPhone on a desk. Credit: Canva

In Apple's statement, the company condemned any “malicious use of our products” in the “strongest possible terms” and has now published plans to update the devices and the Find My app used to locate them, including by adding new privacy warnings during set-up reminding users that tracking people without consent is a crime in many places.

It also confirmed that it had identified “additional improvements” it can make to help law enforcement on AirTag-related requests.

Apple has also said that it was looking into a new precision-finding feature that would enable people to locate unknown AirTags.

Users would also be able to tune the sound of the unwanted tracking alert tone to make the device easier to find.

“We’ve become aware that individuals can receive unwanted tracking alerts for benign reasons, such as when borrowing someone’s keys with an AirTag attached, or when travelling in a car with a family member’s AirPods left inside,” Apple said in a statement.

South Wales Argus: iPhone and airpods. Credit: CanvaiPhone and airpods. Credit: Canva

“We also have seen reports of bad actors attempting to misuse AirTag for malicious or criminal purposes.”

It added: “AirTag was designed to help people locate their personal belongings, not to track people or another person’s property, and we condemn in the strongest possible terms any malicious use of our products.

“Unwanted tracking has long been a societal problem, and we took this concern seriously in the design of AirTag.

“It’s why the Find My network is built with privacy in mind, uses end-to-end encryption, and why we innovated with the first-ever proactive system to alert you of unwanted tracking.

“We hope this starts an industry trend for others to also provide these sorts of proactive warnings in their products.”