Review date: Nov. 8, 2021
These little doohickies attach to just about anything: your pet, wallet, keys, TV remote, bags, other people’s bags. The app lets you track your things within Bluetooth range and rings where they are if you lose something. There's a waterproof version, a super slim version, a sticker version, and a Pro version to meet any potential "now where did I put that?" need you could possibly have. Tile joined with Amazon Sidewalk to offer even more tracking to these trackers for users in the US by using Amazon Echo and Ring devices in the community to help track your Tile. Yeah, it might be a little creepy, but it's probably OK.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
Tile is the OG maker of Bluetooth trackers. So this year when Apple came out with their Airtags, Tile had to do their best to keep up. Apple could tap into their vast Find My network of nearly a billion Apple devices to make Airtag locating just about anywhere a reality. In response, Airtag joined up with Amazon Sidewalk to expand their community network (at least in the US, Amazon Sidewalk doesn’t work outside the US) to all those supported Echo and Ring devices out there in the world, seriously expanding their locating network. Fortunately, so far the privacy and security of Amazon Sidewalk looks promising according to privacy watchdog EFF.
This is all great for people who have lost things outside of Bluetooth range. It’s maybe not so great for people worried about potentially being stalked or unknowingly tracked by someone with bad intentions. While Apple seems to have incorporated protections to help prevent stalking and abuse of their Airtags, we can’t confirm Tile has taken the same threats as seriously. That is a concern for sure.
Tile does seem to do OK with protecting your data. Tile does not sell or monetize consumer data, which is great. Tile does say they may share anonymized data they collect about you with third parties, including advertisers,. This is generally OK, although we should point out that many privacy researchers claim it can be relatively easy to de-anonymize such data, especially location data.
So, what’s the worst that could happen with Tile’s trackers? It’s pretty scary to think someone could unknowingly slip a Tile tracker in your car and use it to stalk you all over the US thanks to the big Amazon Sidewalk community network.
Tips to protect yourself
Check the tips on how to know if someone is tracking you without your consent.
What can be used to sign up?
If you decide to interact with a Social Network when using Tile's services, Tile is permitted to collect information that you have already made public on your Social Network account.
What data does the company collect?
Name, address, email address, profile photo, location
How does the company use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?
No known incidents in the last 3 years.
Can this product be used offline?
Bluetooth connection is still required to use the device.
User-friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Tile uses encryption in transit, meaning communications between the phone and cloud are encrypted (https). They secure communications from the Tile to the phone and encrypt communications from the phone to the cloud. They claim to use industry-standard cryptography and access controls to safeguard all our user accounts. Tile uses the Bluetooth component of the Sidewalk network to locate lost items, and compatible Echo devices extend Tile's network coverage even further, helping customers securely locate misplaced keys, wallets, and other items. For more information, please review the Sidewalk FAQ Page: https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Sidewalk/b?ie=UTF8&node=21328123011
To access your Tile mobile app, you need a Tile account which requires a password. Passwords have minimum length requirements and are stored in one-way hashed, salted format.
Yes, they do regularly push automatic updates. However, users’ phone configurations determine if users automatically pick up these new mobile builds.
Tile has a bug bounty program
Got a comment? Let us hear it.