The U.S. capital is following the precedent of New York mayor Eric Adams, who offered 500 free AirTags to New Yorkers in April to stop robberies. In Washington D.C., the devices will be given to residents at three events over the next few months, though the police have not yet confirmed how many they will hand out.
To receive a free AirTag, which costs $29, recipients will have to show proof of residence.
Once they show that they live in a certain area, the residents will receive their free device and get help connecting it to their phone. The police say they cannot access the tag’s location unless the owner shares it during an investigation.
The police admit that the AirTags will not prevent vehicle robbery, but in addition to helping find it once it is stolen, it could help prevent new cases. The district experienced a 100% increase in car robberies this year compared to 2022.
What is an AirTag?
The AirTag is a coin-sized device that pairs only with Apple phones. It can be used to trace the location of anything it is attached to.
After pairing it with the iPhone, it must be placed on the vehicle to be traced. The user should then open the Find My application on their phone.
The AirTag sends a Bluetooth signal that Apple devices detect. The location is sent to iCloud and is visible on a map from the Find My app. The information is anonymous and encrypted, so privacy is guaranteed.
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