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How Apple designed AirTags to be privacy-first and stalker-proof

Apple’s “Spring Loaded” event on Tuesday offered a bonanza of new hardware announcements, including some unexpected ones. But while Apple went big and loud with the new iMacs and powerful with the new M1 iPad Pros, the company also launched a tiny and discreet new product: the AirTag.

AirTag is Apple’s long-rumored tracking gadget, designed to be attached to an item to track its location in your house—or across the city. The product has been long in development and will take on the likes of other trackers already on the market, such as Tile. However, as with many things Apple, the company says AirTag has one massive advantage over its competitors: It was built from the ground up around privacy.

“When it came to designing our own product, we thought carefully about how to get this right in a way that no one else in the industry’s ever done before,” says Kaiann Drance, Apple’s VP of worldwide iPhone product marketing. I spoke to her and Ron Huang, the company’s senior director of sensing and connectivity, about Apple’s newest, tiniest gadget. “You’ll see that we designed for the privacy of AirTag owners and nonowners, as well as making these benefits opened up to third-party products as well.”

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