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Australian watchdog barks Apple tags are harmful

by on29 June 2021

Think of the children

Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has warned buyers to keep Apple AirTags away from young children.

Apple designers made it easy to remove a battery from the location trackers in a fit of user-friendliness. Unfortunately, since people are using the tags to track children the AirTags’ small lithium button batteries is exactly the sort of thing that ends up being swallowed, stuck up their noses, or put in their ears.

“Apple’s design is making those batteries too readily accessible”, the ACCC complained.

In addition, the AirTag battery compartment’s lid does not always secure fully on closing, and a distinctive sound plays when an AirTag’s lid is being closed, suggesting the lid is secure when it may not be.”

Australian retailer Officeworks removed AirTags from its shelves last month, citing safety concerns.

Apple has since added a new warning label to AirTag packaging, and the ACCC quotes Apple as saying that AirTags are “designed to meet international child safety standards”.

Apparently, the ACCC wants to have a word about what Jobs' Mob means by "international child safety standards". Australia recently introduced new, stricter overall safety rules for devices using button batteries and these should be followed, not some more watery international standard.

The Tame Apple Press is doing its best to play down the incident saying that the ACCC is targeting lots of electronics companies. However, while the ACCC’s statement said it’s “assessing whether there are issues with button battery safety in similar Bluetooth tracking devices”. Apple appears to be the only one that it has “come the raw prawn” with yet.

Last modified on 29 June 2021
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