scorecardEric Adams is handing out hundreds of free Apple AirTags in a bid to cut the number of auto thefts in New York
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Eric Adams is handing out hundreds of free Apple AirTags in a bid to cut the number of auto thefts in New York

Sam Tabahriti   

Eric Adams is handing out hundreds of free Apple AirTags in a bid to cut the number of auto thefts in New York
Tech2 min read
Eric Adams is the mayor of New York City.    Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
  • Mayor Eric Adams said Sunday the city will hand out 500 free Apple AirTags to New York residents.
  • Adams said it's part of the city's efforts to help reduce the thousands of car thefts every year.

New York will hand out hundreds of free Apple Air Tags in a bid to cut the number of auto thefts in New York, mayor Eric Adams announced Sunday.

He called the $29 GPS tracking devices a "really amazing piece of ingenuity," and said the city would give many of them away in The Bronx especially, where residents had been the most affected.

"The aggravated number of grand larceny autos continues to drive up crime in our city," Adams said at a press conference. "This simple device, this simple AirTag, hidden in a car location that a person is not aware of, is an excellent tracking device."

He added: "It's easy to monitor. You can see in real time where the vehicle is located."

Apple Airtags
Apple

The Association for Better New York, a local nonprofit, donated 500 AirTags to the city and police will give them to residents. The city will also fundraise to buy more.

Thefts of Hyundai and Kia vehicles have skyrocketed following a TikTok trend. It started in 2021 when a TikTok user posted a video showing how a thief could start a Kia by turning an internal switch with a simple tool.

The New York Police Department received reports of 104 Hyundais and 99 Kias stolen in December alone, according to data reported by The New York Post.

However, the device has raised some concerns about unauthorized tracking. In June last year, an Indiana woman tracked her boyfriend whom she suspected was cheating on her, using the tracking device, and then killed him.

Apple released a statement in February 2022: "AirTag was designed to help people locate their personal belongings, not to track people or another person's property, and we condemn in the strongest possible terms any malicious use of our products.

"Unwanted tracking has long been a societal problem, and we took this concern seriously in the design of AirTag. Incidents of AirTag misuse are rare; however, each instance is one too many."

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider made outside normal working hours.




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