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Scenario:

You have an AirTag in your purse or wallet. You go to a crowded location, like a bar. A bad actor, with an iPhone, gets an alert about an unknown AirTag in the vicinity and decides to add your AirTag to their device. Later the bad actor uses the AirTag to locate your home and perpetrate a crime.

Questions:

  • Is there a way to identify how many devices are registered to an AirTag? I don't see anything in "Find My" about this.
  • Is there a mechanism to lock the AirTag's registration to prevent unauthorized registration?
  • When a second device in my home registered my AirTag, an alert wasn't sent to me. Shouldn't there have been one?

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Airtag's don't work that way: Others are not alerted to your Airtag immediately or likely at all, since it is with you. And no one can register your Airtag until you de-register it.

Airtag's are registered to an AppleID, not an item. Once registered, they can't be registered to another AppleID, unless the previous registration is removed by that owner. If by 'devices' you mean info on what iPhone has registered the Airtag, this information is private and not revealed. So you will see no information in 'Find My' about the iPhone or owner of the iPhone, only whatever name was given to the Airtag. (You will see location of course).

When an Airtag is found, the finder can not 'register' that Airtag. They can touch the Airtag with their iPhone and a webpage will provide them with the ability to send a message to the Airtag owner if it has been lost.

Airtags do not alert others of their presence immediately. They must be away from the owner and moving with the non-owner for a 'period of time". Apple's support page tells us that:

To discourage tracking without your knowledge, Find My will notify you if an unknown AirTag or other Find My network accessory is seen moving with you over time. 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.

Finally, since you register an Airtag with your AppleID, any 'devices' that are also signed into your AppleID will be able to see and control that Airtag. For example, our Mac, or iPad. You don't get an alert because those devices share your AppleID, so it knows its 'you'.

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  • "second device" is another iPhone; a member of the same Family Sharing account.
    – craig
    Commented Jan 10, 2022 at 15:06
  • @craig Apple says this is not possible, UNLESS that person is signed in with your AppleID. (which is the 'old way' of doing Family Sharing, especially with apps)
    – cmason
    Commented Jan 10, 2022 at 15:08
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    Wow... that sounds like awfully sketchy privacy and security. I esp. like (not) Apple's choice of the word discourage - as in "discourage tracking you without your knowledge". I feel so much better :(
    – Seamus
    Commented Jan 10, 2022 at 22:22
  • @Seamus don't forget, tracking didn't start with Airtags. Tracking has been around as long as humans. Simply following someone is tried and true, but recently it's not uncommon for phones with GPS to be attached to a car for example. And further discouraging their use, Airtags can ID the one doing the tracking!
    – cmason
    Commented Jan 13, 2022 at 15:32

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