It’s not Apple’s most famous product, but tracking devices similar to the AirTag have started to become popular after the North American company put them up for sale. Are able to show us the exact location of any object, which makes them tremendously attractive. So much that the United States Drug Enforcement Administration He has officially used one of those small Apple wearables for a recent mission, as reported in Forbes.
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It was in May 2022 when customs agents intercepted two packages suspects from China. In one of them, dye for pills was transported, while in the other it was found to contain a machine capable of creating pills by compressing them. The agents weighed the possibilities, thinking that this device could be used in the future to create drugs, and communicated the finding to their counterparts in the DEA. The logical acting would have been seize the merchandise or proceed to the arrest of the target person, but instead of doing so, they attempted a curious alternative.
🚨 SCOOP 🚨 Feds turned an Apple AirTag into a snooping device.
DEA agents intercepted a pill press and slipped the AirTag inside, getting a warrant to watch it for at least 45 days.
First (maybe only) time a federal agency has done this.https://t.co/EEmWZ2uEMY
— Thomas Brewster (@iblametom) March 23, 2023
The DEA agents determined to continue the operation, they hid an AirTag inside the machine to press pills, although the search order, to which the North American media outlet has accessed, does not explain the reason for the use of this particular wearable. However, Brady Wilkins a retired Arizona detective believes he has the answer:
Officers may be testing the use of the AirTag because police devices sometimes work and sometimes don’t. An AirTag can be easily hidden and is less likely to be discovered by suspects. These are getting better at counter surveillance techniques.
It remains to be seen whether this practice is common among security forces, given that Apple did not create these devices for this purpose. Also, in a post-launch update, when someone carries an AirTag unaware of its existence, it notify the bearer of the device in case you carry an Apple mobile device with you, to avoid harassment problems, and even emits a sound if the AirTag is not close to the owner within 3 days. It does not seem that this method will continue to be used in this type of research, but it is curious to see how technology can have uses that we did not anticipate, as has happened many times in science fiction movies that tried to predict inventions from another era.