Researchers Suggest Innovative Methods To Enhance Security And Privacy For Apple’s AirTag

AirTag from Apple is another name for a Bluetooth tracker that is designed to ensure users can keep track of their devices and belongings at all times.

However many questions have been raised in terms of how it manages to balance security and user privacy at the same time.

Some reports have suggested how AirTag can be a balancing act as the last thing you need is for the tool to track your whereabouts and lead others in on the sensitive information. After all, who needs stalking when the world is already so unsafe as it is?

The latest research paper discussing this aspect has led to a world of new possibilities in terms of how security and privacy can be further enhanced, giving users the best of both worlds with no compromise on their safety.

The balance is certainly not easy but the goal can be achieved with a few changes, the experts mentioned.

There are some major differences between calling for privacy when on the move and the need for spotting out rogue AirTags. When you make use of other kinds of tools, stalkers are not following the victim. They get access to them by devising a means to cross paths with them or abandon the tools in some other location that they are certain would be crossed by the victim. But stalking AirTags are tools going with their respective victims.

Researchers settled on systems entailing privacy as well as avoiding the issue of stalkers. The first method dubbed secret sharing is designed to create a secret in the system that is shared similar to how a puzzle works. You can find a solution to the whole puzzle after encountering tracker devices several times so that the secret is out.
When you come across the tracking tool, there just will not be enough information shared for stalkers to have know-how about movements. But when the tool is slipped through your vehicle, it might give out more details that reveal itself. It’s going to be the same no matter how frequently the tool updates the identifier in public.

There are disadvantages linked to this front though. Noise cannot be handled well when algorithms are shared. If for instance, the tool bypasses several AirTags along the way, it might attain pieces arising from various puzzles. And therefore, it cannot figure out which piece belongs where.

Therefore, researchers are now implementing another second stage to fix that. It’s known as the error correction coding that is designed to sort out data specifically and assist with separating all kinds of puzzles so the device can play with data that is not crucial like joggers with AirTags that you may have come across once, ensuring all pieces deemed necessary are kept.

The research really goes to show how so many people have struggled with creating a balance between security and privacy. Bluetooth trackers aren’t something new but they have been present for a very long time now. However, the revolutionary aspects that tech giant Apple brings forward are rarely found elsewhere.

So many companies made big promises in the past but never delivered. It was like watching trackers reach out to devices featuring the app from the manufacturer so the exact location could be determined.

AirTags did not go down that path. They ended up showcasing locations to those with iPhone devices that showed compatibility through Find My Network. And the latter made the biggest difference. All of a sudden, Bluetooth trackers were doing a great job in terms of accuracy. And that led other big names in the tech world to get inspiration and come up with similar offerings.

Error correction coding introduced to address noise and separate puzzles, refining AirTag data security.
Photo: Unsplash/Daniel Romero

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