A Sports Illustrated model called Brooks Nader has claimed that she was stalked by someone via an Apple AirTag, which is a very scary potential use of the tech.
According to Nader, a stranger put an Apple Air Tag in her coat pocket when she was out and about in New York City. In an Insta Story, Nader said that after it was put in her pocket, her phone didn’t send her any immediate notifications about detecting an AirTag.
She said she went to a couple of different bars with friends and didn’t realise she’d be tagged until she was walking home alone at 11.30pm.
“Once I was already on my walk home … I got the notification that was like ‘someone’s tracking you and has been for a while’. So I freaked out, obviously.”
Nader described the situation as the “scariest, scariest moment ever” which is obviously super fair – that’s some frightening shit.
Back in October of 2021, a US TikToker called Kayla Malec shared a similar experience, claiming someone’d put an AirTag on her car.
“I got the notification last night that there was an AirTag moving with me.
“Somebody put an AirTag – a freaking AirTag, literally a tracking device – on my car.”
In her vid, she filmed herself looking for the AirTag, which she eventually found almost completely hidden near her license plate. The TikTok has so far netted over a million likes.
@kaylamalecc found the air tag. #fyp ♬ original sound – kayla
Back in December, the Washington Post reported that a handful of AirTags had been found attached to expensive cars in the US and Canada. It also said that a reader had written in about finding an AirTag hidden in a package of their belongings sent by an ex. NGL, that is one of the creepiest things I can personally conceive of.
In the wake of Nader’s claims, a spokesperson for Apple told E! Online that the company’s committed to the privacy and security of AirTags.
“AirTag is designed with a set of proactive features to discourage unwanted tracking—a first in the industry—that both inform users if an unknown AirTag might be with them, and deter bad actors from using an AirTag for nefarious purposes.
“If users ever feel their safety is at risk, they are encouraged to contact local law enforcement who can work with Apple to provide any available information about the unknown AirTag.”
If you’ve got an iPhone with iOS 14.5 or newer installed, it should automatically alert you if there’s an unknown AirTag nearby and on Android there’s a free app called Tracker Detect. However, as pointed out by the Washington Post, Tracker Detect doesn’t check for unknown AirTags unless the app is open.
Currently, the app only has two out of five stars on the Google Play store.
On Apple’s website, it says the AirTag is “designed to discourage unwanted tracking”.
“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”.
While the bulk of tracking stories so far have come out of the USA, AirTags have been criticised by some domestic violence orgs here in Australia.
Domestic Violence New South Wales CEO Delia Donovan told A Current Affair about her concerns of AirTags being used to track people.
“We know that one in six women can confirm that they’ve been stalked by technology,” she said.
“This is now another weapon for perpetrators.”
The tech was banned by Big W, JB Hi-Fi and Officeworks back in May of 2021, though that wasn’t over concerns about tracking. Primarily, the stores were worried about kids accidentally removing (and then swallowing) the AirTag’s battery.
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Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online.
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