A police officer has been charged with stalking his ex-girlfriend after installing Apple AirTags in her car.
The FBI has issued an urgent alert after 27-year-old Javier Magarin allegedly used the technology to track things like car keys to follow his ex.
Magarin, who joined the Miami-Dade Police Department last year, is said to have texted his ex-girlfriend saying he knew where she was – or he would just show up at her location.
The friend said the AirTag beeping made her realize she was being followed. CBS News reports.
Stuart Kaplan, a lawyer and former FBI agent, said people with tracking devices are getting more creative.
He warned: “It’s not unusual. It happens more often than not.
“When you talk about a sworn law enforcement officer, there’s a sense of disappointment because there’s a kind of breach of trust that the public wants.
“This technology doesn’t work with GPS, it works with your location services through your iPhone or digital device.
“To a degree, we’ve been desensitized and almost decriminalized looking into our friends’ or family’s or our loved ones’ or ex-ex’s digital devices.”
According to a police report, between March and April this year, Magarin deliberately and repeatedly stalked his ex by using Apple AirTag tracking devices to track her.
When Magarin and his girlfriend split in late March, he planted an AirTag in their car, police officers said.
Over the next few weeks, the victim received text messages from Magarin asking questions about her whereabouts.
According to an arrest report, Magarin finally admitted via text message that he used an AirTag to track his ex after she was alerted by an Apple security alert.
And detectives found that one of the AirTags in her car was registered to his personal email address.
They found the device “attached” to the underside of their car – wrapped in heavy-duty duct tape in the rear bumper.
The officer was fired and charged with stalking and installing tracking devices.
Magarin’s lawyer Giancarlo Casanova said last night: “No formal charges have been brought against my client.
“Officer Magarin is a model officer and we look forward to discussing this with the Miami-Dade County Attorney.”
AirTags have been in the spotlight for their use to track people or track valuable items.
They are meant to be helpful and allow users to find their personal items like keys.
They don’t use built-in GPS, instead they emit a continuous Bluetooth signal that’s tracked via location data from nearby Apple devices.
However, there have been multiple reports of scammers using the button-sized devices attached to people’s personal belongings to track them.
Experts have also claimed to have built a creepy AirTag clone capable of bypassing all of Apple’s spy protection measures.
Apple has now built in a beeper to warn potential victims if they are being followed.
And the company recently outlined other ways it plans to address the issue, including things like precise search and a display alert with sound by the end of the year.
In a statement, Apple said: “Unwanted tracking has long been a societal concern, and we took these concerns seriously when designing AirTag.
“That’s why the Find My network is built with privacy in mind, uses end-to-end encryption, and why we’ve innovated with the first-ever proactive system to alert you to unwanted tracking.”
https://www.thesun.ie/tech/8922590/urgent-warning-apple-airtags-cop-charged-stalking-ex-girlfriend/ Apple AirTags urgent alert after COP accused of stalking ex-girlfriend by installing device in her car