iOS 15.2 beta introduces nearby AirTag searches and Legacy Contacts

It may find unwanted trackers on your person.

·2 min read

Apple is introducing another way to ensure its AirTags won't be used for stalking when iOS 15.2 comes out. According to MacRumors, the beta version of the mobile platform that has just come out has a new feature that will let users scan for AirTags that may be tracking their location. At the moment, users can find the feature under the Items tab in the Find My‌ app — all they need to do is tap the "Items That Can Track Me" option to do a scan.

Any trackable item nearby that belongs to someone else will be detected and show up as an unknown item. Apple will then point users to a set of instructions on how to disable the device that's being used to track them. While it could put people's mind at ease, the new feature could also be a double-edged sword. For users that hide AirTags in bikes, other items thieves could steal and even their pets' collars, this could prevent them from catching the culprit and retrieving their property. The feature might work a lot differently, however, by the time iOS 15.2 is ready for wider rollout.

To note, Apple updated AirTags to address stalking concerns back in June. It adjusted the time period after which the device would play a sound when separated from its owner from three days to a random time between 8 and 24 hours. This experimental feature is an additional privacy measure.

Another interesting feature that showed up with the beta version of iOS 15.2 is Digital Legacy. It will allow users to designate people as Legacy Contacts, who'll be able to access their account and digital information when they pass away. In the current iteration of the mobile OS, Legacy Contact lives inside Password and Security within the Settings app.