A US family has recently claimed that someone at Walt Disney World tracked their movements by placing an Apple AirTag on them as they walked around the Orlando theme park. Fox35 reported that Jennifer Gatson found the coin-sized device in her bag after getting a notification saying that an owner of an AirTag had been tracking them. At that time, the Gatson family was headed back to their car on the monorail after visiting Disney World.
Speaking to Fox35, Jennifer Gatson said that her family was “terrified, confused, hurt and scared”. She informed that her daughter Madison saw that the device had been tracking them for several hours as they were walking through the theme park. It had located everywhere the family had visited, all the way to the parking lot.
The family then started looking for the tracker. They frantically dumped everything out of their bags when the small device fell out. They then got inside their car, locked the door and drove away before calling the police.
“As she was refreshing it, it showed the AirTag was still in our parking spot so somehow when we were frantically shaking out clothes and dumping everything out of our bags it fell out,” said Ms Gaston as per Fox35. She added that the situation could have ended much worse. “I’m praising God we have the outcome we have, but it’s because she (Madison) was diligent and aware of what to do,” she added.
Apple AirTags are designed to help keep track of items people often misplace, like keys and wallets. However, in the past, the small device has been revealed to have been used by criminals to track people.
Amid growing safety concerns, Apple has defended its function. It has stated that the device was designed to help people locate their personal belongings, and not to track people or another person’s property. Apple even informed that the device is designed to prohibit “unwarranted tracking” by alerting a nearby iPhone when an AirTag has been separated from its user.
David Benson, a security expert, told Fox35 that if people find themselves in a similar situation, they are advised not to go home or to their hotel, instead go to a public location and call the police. Moreover, Apple has also explained how one can protect oneself and get safety notifications.
For an iPhone user, if an AirTag that’s separated from its owner is seen moving with you over time, this alert is displayed: AirTag Found Moving With You. If you use an Android device, you can download the Tracker Detect app from the Google Play Store, which looks for item trackers within Bluetooth range that are separated from their owner.