Through collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, a cryptographic scheme was developed to detect potentially malicious AirTags. Find My, Apple’s tracking feature, uses a unique combination of public and private keys to identify AirTags, while simultaneously changing the device’s public ID every 24 hours.
This reduces the possibility of unwanted tracking, allowing users to feel more secure. The researchers implemented “secret sharing” and “error-correcting coding” to balance privacy and security, allowing the system to detect suspicious AirTags without disrupting mobile devices.
Apple, along with other industry leaders, works to ensure user security and privacy as part of a cross-industry effort. Innovations in cryptography open up new opportunities to protect personal data, but at the same time maintain the necessary level of security. Tracking with AirTags describes how Apple is working with scientists on a solution that provides both privacy and security.
The implemented changes to the Find My tracking system provide users with additional protection against invisible tracking, while scientific developments open the way to new methods of ensuring privacy. As we continue to work with leading technology companies, Apple is committed to creating an ecosystem where security and privacy go hand in hand, giving users peace of mind and confidence that their personal data is protected.