Random IDs Prevent Passive Tracking
As we explained last year, Apple built its Find My network with some really cool privacy features, and AirTags are no exception.
The problem with any Bluetooth tracker is that it has to emit an ID to allow other nearby devices to find it. However, even if this ID contains no personal identifying information, someone who is regularly in proximity to an AirTag user could figure out which ID belongs to them simply by association, and then use it to track them in the future.
However, Apple has taken great pains to actually make sure that stalkers won’t be able to latch onto the Bluetooth IDs that AirTags transmit by actually randomizing it regularly. This is actually a lot more complicated to pull off than it sounds, since Apple’s Find My network still has to have a way of keeping track of these changing IDs, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to locate your AirTags either. It’s illustrative of the lengths that Apple goes to protect its users’ privacy.