The best AirTag alternative solutions to improve your privacy and security

AirTags are small devices designed to help you locate lost items using Apple’s Find My network. They emit a secure Bluetooth signal detectable by nearby Apple devices, which then use their location services(new window) to anonymously relay the location to the owner’s Find My app.

However, Apple has been criticized for not taking stronger privacy and security measures, especially regarding AirTag stalking(new window) — placing an AirTag on a person or their belongings without consent to monitor their movements.

While convenient for locating lost items, physical trackers like AirTag can be privacy invasive due to their potential misuse. Additionally, these devices collect personal data or share it with third parties. And if the company’s database is breached(new window), your personal data could be exposed.

This article explores alternatives to AirTags, but we would caution that all physical trackers present inherent privacy risks. The services in this article are presented to help you compare and contrast options, and we do not necessarily recommend any of these.

We cover the following AirTag alternatives:

Chipolo ONE Spot
Pebblebee Tag
Cube Shadow
Tile Pro

Here’s an overview of the privacy and security features for AirTag and its alternatives:

TrackerPlatformKey featuresEncryptionPrivacy concernsAdjusting privacy settings
AirTagiOS• Uses Apple Find My network
• Lost Mode
• Alerts for unknown trackers moving with you
In transit and at rest• Potential misuse for unauthorized tracking (e.g. AirTag stalking cases)
• Uses data for targeted ads and marketing
• Shares data with third parties (but not for their own marketing purposes)
• Modify device privacy settings
• Disable location services
• Withdraw data processing consent
• Contact Apple to access, modify, or delete data
Chipolo ONE SpotiOS, AndroidUses Apple Find My or Google’s Find My Device network
• Alerts for unknown trackers moving with you
In transit and at rest• Shares data with third-party service providers but doesn’t sell it
• Shares data with marketers but with your consent
• Contact Chipolo to update or delete data, or withdraw consent
• Restrict processing for marketing
• Limit location tracking
Pebblebee TagiOS, Android• Uses Apple Find My, Google’s Find My Device, or the Pebblebee app network
• Alerts for unknown trackers moving with you
• Disable unknown trackers following you without erasing their data
In transit and at rest• Shares data with third-party service providers but doesn’t sell it
• Processes data for direct marketing (but you can opt out)
• Request data deletion
• Manage device network settings
• Adjust permissions for data sharing
Cube ShadowiOS, Android• Uses the Cube network
• Anti-theft mode
Yes (unclear)• No anti-stalking measures
• Data shared with third parties for services
• Modify or delete personal data
• Disable location services
• Review data sharing or withdraw consent
Tile ProiOS, Android• Uses Apple Find My or Google’s Find My Device network
• Anti-theft modeAlerts for unknown trackers moving with you
In transit and at rest• Risk of misuse in Anti-Theft Mode
• Recent data breach exposed customer data
• Update or delete information from the Tile app
• Opt out of the sale of your personal data
• Configure device settings to turn off location services and manage permissions

How safe is Apple AirTag?

AirTags use Bluetooth, Ultra Wideband technology, and Apple’s Find My network to help you locate your items with high accuracy. They integrate smoothly with Apple devices, making AirTags user-friendly for those in the Apple ecosystem. Lost Mode allows you to mark items as lost and receive notifications if they are found by someone else.

After a class action lawsuit accusing Apple(new window) of enabling stalking with AirTags, the company added automatic audio alerts and notifications if an unknown AirTag is moving with you. Furthermore, Apple worked with Google to create a tracker detection app for Android that detects nearby AirTags separated from their owners. Despite these measures, there are still concerns about using AirTags for unauthorized tracking.

What type of data does Apple collect and share?

According to the Apple privacy policy(new window) (last updated on March 31, 2024), the company collects personal information (for example, Apple ID, email address, age, physical address, and phone number), device information (serial number, browser type, and other identifiable data), payment information, usage data (such as search history), and any other information you provide.

Besides operating Apple services and preventing fraud, the company uses this information for targeted advertising and marketing. It shares your personal data with affiliated companies but not with third parties for their own marketing purposes.

Apple encrypts your data in transit and at rest. Only authorized personnel can access it.

Children under the age of consent need an Apple ID created by a parent. Apple does not knowingly collect, use, or share the personal information of kids without a parent’s clear permission. Additionally, it doesn’t show personalized ads to kids.

How you can adjust AirTag privacy settings

  • Check the AirTag guidelines for unknown alerts(new window).
  • Contact Apple to access, modify, transfer, or delete your personal data.
  • Withdraw content for data processing at any time.
  • Adjust privacy controls on your iPhone to limit access to your personal information and ad tracking.

Which AirTag alternatives are more private and secure?

Given the privacy concerns associated with AirTags, many users are looking for alternative solutions that do not compromise their security. 

Here, we explore various alternatives that you might prefer. It is worth emphasizing that all physical tracking devices present inherent privacy risks. We have not tested these devices. This guide is intended to help you choose the one that offers the best mix of features and protection for you.

Chipolo ONE Spot

Designed for iOS, Chipolo ONE Spot uses the Apple Find My network and a very loud ringtone (up to 120dB) to detect lost trackers. If an unknown Chipolo tracker(new window) is detected near you for an extended period, your phone will notify you with messages and audio.

Plus, if you receive a notification about an unknown tracker, you can use the Chipolo app to make the tracker ring, helping you locate it. You can then disable the tracker to prevent the owner from receiving further location updates​. If you prefer a Google AirTag alternative, you can use Chipolo ONE for Android.

What type of data does Chipolo collect and share?

The Chipolo privacy policy(new window) (last updated on October 10, 2023) says that the company collects personal information (name, email address, contact details, shipping and billing addresses, and other information you voluntarily provide), device information (unique device identifiers, IP address, device model), location data (combined location data of your phone and Chipolo), usage data (how and how often you use their services, dates and times of your requests), and payment info (stored by third-party payment providers, not on Chipolo’s servers).

Chipolo encrypts your data during transmission and stores it on secure servers where only authorized personnel can access your data. It shares data with third-party service providers to fulfill orders and provide services, but it does not sell personal data to third parties. Your data may be shared with advertisers for marketing purposes but only with your consent.

The company does not knowingly collect or ask for personal information from anyone under the age of 14. They also do not target interest-based advertising to children under this age. If Chipolo learns that they have collected personal information from a child under 14, they will delete that information as quickly as possible.

How you can adjust Chipolo privacy settings

  • Contact the company to request access to your personal information and update or delete it.
  • Restrict the processing of your personal information in certain circumstances, including direct marketing.
  • Withdraw your consent to the use of your personal information.
  • Adjust the settings on your device or within the Chipolo app to limit location tracking.
  • Parents or guardians can reach out to the company to remove their child’s data.

Pebblebee Tag

Available for Android and iOS, Pebblebee Tag can detect if your tracker is out of range using devices in the Apple Find My, Google Find My Device, or Pebblebee app network. You will be alerted if an unknown tracker is detected moving with you. If you find an unwanted Pebblebee Tag(new window) on you, you can disable it to prevent tracking without erasing the data it contains, which can be used by law enforcement to identify the stalker.

However, Pebblebee Tag doesn’t work with Google’s Find My Device network and Pebblebee App, or with Apple’s Find My network and Pebblebee app at the same time. It’s necessary to reset the device to factory settings to change networks.

What type of data does Pebblebee collect and share?

According to the Pebblebee privacy policy(new window) (last updated on March 8, 2024), the company collects personal information (name, email address, phone number, and other contact details), usage data (how you interact with the Pebblebee website and app, including IP address, device information, and browsing activity), payment information, and tracking data (details about the tracking device and its location when using the Pebblebee app or Apple’s Find My network).

Pebblebee encrypts your data during transmission and stores it on secure servers with restricted access to authorized personnel. It processes your information for direct marketing and may share your data with third-party service providers, but it does not sell customer data to third parties. You can request the deletion of your data and opt out of targeted advertising.

The company doesn’t collect personal information from children under 13 or target them with ads. If they find out they’ve collected such information without parental consent, they will delete it quickly. 

How you can adjust Pebblebee privacy settings

  • Request access to your personal information to update or delete it under certain circumstances, including direct marketing.
  • Modify the sharing settings on the Pebblebee app app or reset your devices to factory settings to stop sharing device locations.
  • Manage how your Pebblebee device interacts with third-party services like Apple’s Find My or Google’s Find My Device network, such as linking and unlinking devices, or managing permissions and data sharing preferences through these third-party platforms​.
  • Adjust who can see your device’s location by restricting access to specific individuals or groups​.
  • Parents or guardians can contact the company to request the deletion of their child’s personal information.

Cube Shadow

Cube Shadow is a cheap AirTag alternative that uses its own network to track lost devices, emitting a sound if they’re out of sight. It has anti-theft mode to prevent unauthorized use and tracking, and each device has encrypted identifiers for secure tracking.

Cube Shadow supports two-factor authentication, so you can add another layer of verification to your account. However, it does not include specific anti-stalking measures to alert you if you are being tracked by an unknown device​.

What type of data does Cube Shadow collect and share?

The Cube Tracker privacy policy(new window) (last updated on January, 2021 or earlier) says that the company collects personal information (name, email address, phone number, shipping and billing address, payment information), device data (IP address, unique device identifiers, browser type and version, page views, session lengths, username, photographs, location data).

Cube Tracker encrypts, anonymizes, and stores your data with restricted access, but it doesn’t guarantee absolute security. Additionally, the company shares your personal information with third parties for delivering services. You can delete your account and associated data. Do Not Track signals are not honored by Cube Tracker’s website or app.

Cube Tracker does not direct its services to children under 13 and does not knowingly collect personal information from them. Any information accidentally collected will be deleted.

How you can adjust Cube Tracker privacy settings

  • Request access to your personal information to modify or delete it.
  • Withdraw your consent to the processing of your personal data at any time.
  • Review and manage how your information is shared with third parties.
  • Disable location services on your device or deny the app permission to access your location if you want to stop location tracking.
  • Parents or guardians can request the company to delete their child’s personal information.

Tile Pro

When comparing Tile vs. AirTag, the most significant difference is that, while AirTag supports only iOS, Tile works with both iOS and Android. Tile Pro offers an Anti-Theft Mode(new window) to make sure that only the rightful owner can access their device.

Meanwhile, the Scan and Secure feature detects unknown trackers nearby. To protect against unauthorized access and tracking, each Tile Pro device uses unique encrypted identifiers. Additionally, all communications between your phone and the cloud are secured with encryption in transit.

Anti-Theft Mode requires two-factor authentication(new window), including biometric data and a government ID. Activating this mode hides the Tile from the Scan and Secure feature. However, there is a risk that a thief could activate Anti-Theft Mode on a stolen Tile, making it undetectable. To mitigate this, Tile’s terms and conditions state that your personally identifiable information(new window) may be shared with law enforcement if a Tile in Anti-Theft Mode is used to track someone without their knowledge or consent.

What type of data does Tile collect and share?

According to the Tile privacy policy(new window) (last updated on March 5, 2024), the company (Life360) collects personal information (for example, name, email address, and contact details), device information (including the device type, unique device identifiers, and operating system), location data, and usage details (such as the features you prefer and frequency of use).

Data transmitted across Tile’s network is encrypted and anonymous. Only authorized personnel can access your data. Nevertheless, in June 2024, a hacker accessed(new window) the internal tools of the Tile company, stealing customer data used to process location data requests for law enforcement.

Tile explicitly mentions that they do not sell your data to third parties. Only the rightful owners can see the locations of their Tile and device.

Children can set up a Tile Pro account only with verifiable consent from their parents or guardians. Life360 collects only the necessary amount of information for the child to use the tracker and may disclose this data to third-party vendors and service providers, but does not share or sell their personal information.

How you can adjust Tile privacy settings

  • Modify your account information, update or modify your personal information, or change your password by logging into the app and navigating to the settings menu.
  • Opt out of the sale of your personal data from the app’s Privacy & Security settings by clicking on Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information and adjusting the toggle.
  • Control location data by turning off Location or Location Services on your device, though this will affect the functionality of your tracker.
  • Request to delete your personal data through the Tile app by navigating to the Additional Data Rights page and selecting Delete Your Account. Even after deleting your account, anonymous location data from other Tile users may still be collected if your Tile is within Bluetooth range​​.
  • Control what permissions the Tile app has on your device, such as access to your camera, microphone, and location, through your device’s privacy settings​.
  • Parents can review or delete any personal information from their child’s account by contacting the company directly.

How to improve your privacy and security when using trackers

After the Apple lawsuit, Apple and Google collaborated(new window) to create an industry specification for detecting unwanted location trackers. By default, both iOS and Android devices will alert users if an unknown Bluetooth tracking device is detected moving with them, whether it uses the Apple Find My or Android Find My Device network.

If you’re concerned about your privacy, you can do the following: 

  • Review and limit the amount of personal information shared with the tracker company.
  • Check privacy settings within the app to minimize unnecessary data collection.
  • Use any opt-out options for data sharing and targeted advertising provided by the tracking service.
  • Disable Bluetooth when not in use since it can be hacked and turn off the tracker when it’s not needed to prevent it from transmitting your location.
  • Keep the tracking app updated to ensure you have the latest security, and regularly update your tracker’s firmware to benefit from the latest security patches and features.

Proton protects your online privacy

At Proton, we believe privacy should be the default for everyone. If you’re concerned about tracking, Proton VPN safeguards your online privacy and encrypts your personal data(new window) to keep it safe from hackers, advertisers, and surveillance. We have a strict no-logs policy(new window), meaning we don’t collect, track, or share your information with third parties, including IP addresses, online activity, or session lengths. All our apps are open source(new window) and independently audited.

Learn more about the privacy benefits of a VPN(new window)

Access the internet privately and protect your online data by signing up for a Proton VPN account.

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Update July 18, 2024: This article has been updated to feature the latest audit of our no-logs policy by Securitum, which was concluded on July 12, 2024. Links to all our no-logs policy audits are included. We’re pleased to announce that Proton VPN
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