Feb 16, 2023, 09:00 ET
- Any Tile tracker operating in Anti-Theft Mode creates a barrier to being detected by anyone except the owner.
- Users must register multi-factor identification, including biometric data, to activate Anti-Theft Mode.
- Misuse for stalking purposes results in a $1 million fine.
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Tile, a Life360 company and the pioneer in finding technology, today announces the launch of Anti-Theft Mode—a feature designed to protect valuables from theft by increasing the chances of recovery. This is accomplished by making Tile Bluetooth trackers operating in Anti-Theft Mode undetectable by Scan and Secure, an in-app feature that allows both iPhone and Android users to scan for and detect nearby Tiles and Tile-enabled devices. Tile users can activate Anti-Theft Mode on any Tile tracker in use now, including Tile-enabled partner products. Anti-Theft Mode will begin rolling out to Tile users today and be available to all users in the coming weeks.
Tile's new feature was designed to protect users' valuables in response to customer demand and during a time when theft and robbery rates are up, having increased 20% in the first half of 20221. Economic uncertainty2 is also on the horizon, which can drive robbery rates3 even higher. Anti-Theft Mode makes it easier to recover stolen valuables by making it harder for thieves to know an item is being tracked.
Unlike other Bluetooth trackers on the market, namely AirTags, Tile does not notify nearby smartphone users when an unknown Bluetooth tracker is traveling with them. These proactive notifications can communicate to thieves that a tracker is on the stolen item, allowing them to remove it and making recovering the item less likely. Some competitor products go as far as to issue an audible beep once the tracker has been separated from its owner, making it clear that a tracker is present and enabling thieves to find it with precision. The proactive notifications found in the Bluetooth tracker industry were designed to prevent stalking; however, these anti-stalking measures have been criticized for being insufficient for victim protection. Instead, these alerts have the possibility of making Bluetooth trackers easily identifiable by thieves.
Users can choose to activate Anti-Theft Mode on any Tile, rendering the tracker invisible on Scan and Secure. This feature, in addition to Tile's existing lack of proactive alerts to nearby smartphones about a tracker in the vicinity, makes it much harder for thieves to locate Tile trackers on stolen goods.
"Anti-Theft Mode is the only solution in the Bluetooth finding category designed to make it harder for thieves to get away with valuables," said Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Life360 Chris Hulls. "We know that families don't have time to misplace their items and certainly don't have the time or money to replace belongings when they get stolen. We're giving our users a solution that empowers them with a choice. The choice to make their devices invisible to Scan and Secure if they wish, and sleep a little easier at night knowing Tile is doing everything we can to protect their valuables."
To activate Anti-Theft Mode, users must submit and apply for an advanced ID verification process that includes a biometric scan to accurately detect fake IDs. Once ID verification is complete, the user will be registered with Tile, and Anti-Theft Mode will be activated across all of the user's Tile Bluetooth trackers. Syncing a government-issued ID with a Tile user's account is a proactive measure to deter the feature from being used for nefarious purposes, such as stalking. Anonymity is directly linked with abusive behavior both in person and online4, so Tile is eliminating anonymity and bringing in the latest ID verification technology to its Anti-Theft Mode offering.
Tile is taking additional precautions in the terms of service for Anti-Theft Mode, including a $1 million fine for any individual convicted in a court of law for using Tile devices to illegally track any individual without their knowledge or consent. In addition, the company is taking a highly collaborative stance with law enforcement and Anti-Theft Mode users must acknowledge that personal information can and will be shared with law enforcement at our discretion, even without a subpoena, to aid in the investigation and prosecution of suspected stalking.
Anti-Theft Mode's strict usage terms and verification process are progressive safety measures at the product level to protect against unintended uses, like stalking, by holding bad actors accountable and providing victims with actionable resources against their stalkers. Multi-factor ID verification, defined consequences and clearly established cooperation with law enforcement are crucial steps in deterring stalking—as well as halting unwanted future conduct5.
"Location sharing and finding have become a part of our daily fabric, and it's not going anywhere. We develop products for the vast majority of people who use them as intended, and for those who do not, we are committed to cooperating fully with law enforcement," said Hulls. "To meaningfully address stalking with technology, we must implement safeguards like ID registration of all location-enabled devices that are small enough to be planted on a person so law enforcement have information to pursue justice for victims. In the meantime, we'll do what we can at the product level to keep people safe from the outlying cases of bad actors while increasing the likelihood of recovering stolen items with Tile to help people live more relaxed lives."
Users wanting to keep track of valuables in an under-the-radar manner can choose to activate Anti-Theft Mode for any Tile in the brand's product line of Bluetooth trackers. Tile products come in various shapes, sizes and styles, including the Tile Pro, Tile Mate, Tile Slim, and Tile Sticker. Users must be 18+ to activate Anti-Theft Mode.
For more information about Tile's Anti-Theft Mode, approach to theft, and stance against stalking, visit tile.com/blog/tile-anti-theft-mode.
About Life360 and Tile
As the world's leading membership for safety and location services, Life360 offers busy families peace of mind and freedom by connecting and protecting everyone and everything that matters most. Combined with Tile, a Life360 company and pioneer in finding technology, members can locate missing items and see that everything is where it should be at a glance. Life360 makes it possible for families to coordinate daily activities in real-time, keep track of kids, connect with friends, find pets and important items, give teens safe independence, assist in emergencies, and so much more. Visit Life360.com or Tile.com for more information on how Life360 brings families together and Tile ensures that missing items aren't lost.
1 Council on Criminal Justice, Pandemic, Social Unrest, and Crime in U.S. Cities: Mid-Year 2022 Update (2022)
2 Bloomberg, Economists Place 70% Chance for US Recession in 2023 (2022)
3 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Monitoring The impact of Economic Crisis on Crime, (2012)
4 Psychological Science, Who Is That? The Study of Anonymity and Behavior (2018)
5 Psychology Today, How to Shake a Stalker (2022)
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