With iOS 17, AirTags can be shared with other people

With iOS 17, AirTags can be shared with other people

Thanks to iOS 17, Apple allows an AirTag user to share them with friends, family or other loved ones.

During its traditional WWDC on June 5, 2023, Apple announced several innovations around iOS 17. While some new features were well highlighted, others were more discreet. Among the latter: AirTags will become more useful. Thanks to iOS 17, it is now possible to share an AirTag with five other people.

This novelty allows a tracker user and his family members to know the location of an object, without having to ask the original owner of the tracker. For example, within a family, if one parent places an AirTag on a console controller and a child searches for the controller, they can find it from within the Locate application itself, without having to ask the parent. It also tracks common property, such as a car. Again, if someone puts an AirTag in a vehicle and randomly wants a friend to know where the car is parked so they can borrow it, that’s possible.

To do this, the owner of the AirTag (and vehicle) just needs to go to the Locate app. You will then need to choose the tracker in question before touching the Share this AirTag tab. The owner can then share the AirTag with up to 5 people, who must be in their contacts. The chosen people can accept or decline sharing. The owner of the AirTag also reserves the right to remove a person from sharing at any time.

The challenge of cyber surveillance

At the same time, this novelty could increase the risk of a person using an AirTag to track another person’s location. Until now, a warning was shown if an AirTag that does not belong to you is traveling with you. But with this new feature, the AirTags will no longer make noise, because they are authorized by the owner and another person. A real cyber-surveillance issue, whether the person being monitored has given their consent or not.

On Android, an AirTag will not notify you of its presence for 3 days // Source: Photo Corentin Béchade for Numerama

For Apple, which is already working with Google on this topic, the challenge is twofold: it is necessary to simplify the lives of AirTags users while guaranteeing them that this novelty will not be used against them. In the meantime, it is mainly up to those involved to be careful. If someone offers you to share an AirTag, don’t take this decision lightly and therefore don’t ignore the capabilities of using the AirTag to locate you.

Want to know everything about the mobility of tomorrow, from electric car to electric bicycle? Subscribe now to our Watt Else newsletter!