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While Apple positions AirTags as a tool to find things you lost, it can also be used to (most probably illegally) track other people. Assuming I don't own an iPhone/iPad, how can I figure out that this is the case and what can I do in such cases?

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It makes a sound.

An AirTag that isn’t with the person who registered it for an extended period of time will also play a sound when moved so you can find it, even if you don’t use an iOS device.

What to do if you find an AirTag or get an alert that an AirTag is with you - Apple Support, emphasis mine

after an AirTag has been away from its paired device for a certain amount of time, the item will automatically emit a sound notifying those around it of its presence.

An Apple executive, quoted by 9to5Mac in Apple execs explain how AirTag is ‘stalker-proof’ and whether you should use it to track pets

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  • And when it squaks, I find it and it gets introduced to a sledgehammer. Commented Apr 29, 2021 at 21:16
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While AirTags are supposed to beep when moving and separated from their owner, this can be disabled by removing the speaker.

As of December 13th, 2021, Android users can now manually scan for unexpected AirTags. CNET:

Apple has released a new Android app called Tracker Detect, designed to help people who don't own iPhones or iPads to identify unexpected AirTags and other Find My network-equipped sensors that may be nearby.

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