Although Apple’s can be useful for helping find lost belongings, ever since the tracker went on sale , critics have that bad actors could use it to stalk people. Brooks Nader, a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, claims someone secretly placed an AirTag in her coat and tracked her movements for several hours.
Earlier this week, Nader was waiting alone for someone at a crowded bar in Tribeca with her coat on the chair behind her. She then visited a couple of other bars with friends.
Nader, who shared her experience on Instagram Stories, said that while she was walking home alone, her phone alerted her to the fact that “someone’s tracking you and has been for a while.” She then found the AirTag. Nader, who wasn’t aware of AirTags beforehand, called the incident “the scariest moment ever and I just want everyone to be aware that this exists.”
It’s not the first time that AirTags have been used to track other people’s movements. Reports have about thieves using them to follow and steal high-end cars. However, the Nader incident is a high-profile one that should draw more attention to the issue.
“We take customer safety very seriously and are committed to AirTag’s privacy and security. 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,” an Apple spokesperson told Engadget. “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.”
Soon after Apple launched the AirTag, it rolled out the iPhone notification Nader mentioned to inform users that someone may be tracking them. In December, the company released an Android app called Tracker Detect, which alerts users to nearby AirTags that are away from their owner and could be on their person. However, since Find My isn’t part of Android, you’d need to know about the app and have it installed to detect a hidden AirTag.