The New York City Police Department said Monday that an Apple AirTag was discovered under the hood of a marked patrol vehicle in Queens.
The small tracking device that connects to Apple’s “Find My” network was found on the police car on Sunday in a small plastic baggie.
In response to the discovery, NYPD Chief of Housing Martine Materasso reminded the department to be wary during their inspections of marked cars, given the anti-police attacks occurring across the country. The vehicles are supposed to be inspected before and after officers’ tours.
“Please keep a heightened state of vigilance, in light of the anti-police sentiment we have seen not only here, but across the U.S.,” Materasso wrote in the email to officers, according to the New York Daily News.
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“Continue looking out for each other and be safe,” Materasso continued.
Apple announced last year that it was working with law enforcement to avoid “unwanted tracking” through the use of AirTags.
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“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,” Apple wrote in a statement in February. “Unwanted tracking has long been a societal problem, and we took this concern seriously in the design of AirTag.”
The company said misuses of AirTags are rare but that “each instance is one too many.”
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“Every AirTag has a unique serial number, and paired AirTags are associated with an Apple ID. Apple can provide the paired account details in response to a subpoena or valid request from law enforcement,” Apple wrote in their statement. “We have successfully partnered with them on cases where information we provided has been used to trace an AirTag back to the perpetrator, who was then apprehended and charged.”