Are AirTags causing stalking or making us more aware of it?

John Voorhees, MacStories:

Apple is also in a unique position given the vast size of its Find Me network. That puts the company in a different league than competitors like Tile, which carries greater responsibility with it.

In a story on Peer Reviewed, Matt VanOrmer puts a finger on something I’ve been wondering for a while: Are AirTags contributing to the problem of stalking or merely making us more aware of it because of the unique stalking countermeasures built into the device?

From the Matt VanOrmer story:

The sharp increase in reports of people being unknowingly tracked by bad actors using AirTags is clearly indicative of a major problem — but the question I’ve been wrestling with since these stories began is “Has Apple made the problem of stalking worse with AirTags, or just easier to discover?”

This is an excellent question.

More from Matt:

I would argue a nefarious individual wanting to stalk someone would debatably be foolish to use an AirTag to do so…since their victim has a high probability of being alerted to the tracking device (if they have an iPhone — more on that later). Surely to a criminal, the benefit of AirTags’ highly-pinpoint accuracy is immediately overwhelmed by the downside of getting caught.

A lot of blame for a recent run in stalking has been heaped on Apple, but has that stalking been around long before AirTags debuted, but just undetected?