Using an AirTag, YouTubers Tom Scott and Arun Maini (Mrwhosetheboss) played a cat-and-mouse game all over the streets of London to test out how easy it is to use the device to stalk someone.
With an AirTag in his possession, Scott’s goal was to complete a number of scavenger-hunt-esque tasks as Maini tried to catch him in an hour or less. In the video, Scott frantically travels from task to task, constantly looking over his shoulder, afraid of being caught by Maini. But, despite Scott’s paranoia, he is never caught by Maini. By design, the AirTag, doesn’t indicate the direction it is going in, and there is a minutes-long lag, which leaves Maini always a step behind.
That being said, Scott pointed out that he was making a conscious effort to stay on-the-move since he knew he was being chased, and the results might be different for someone who unknowingly has an AirTag placed on them. Ultimately, Scott concluded, “OK, you could’ve followed me home with it, but you can’t live stalk someone with it.”
The video’s tone is entertaining and lighthearted, but underscores a disturbing privacy issue with Apple’s bluetooth trackers. AirTags, have been used to stalk people and have generally raised privacy concerns about sharing someone’s whereabouts. Scott, who is known for his clever yet educational YouTube videos, raises an issue about the importance of understanding the gadgets we use everyday.
Scott and Maini proved that live AirTag stalking doesn’t really work, but as commenter Mr Son noted that without a time limit and vehicles, “Arun would have caught Tom eventually just because Tom’s frantic panic would have exhausted him and Arun could have casually jogged up.”