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'Terrified' Family Says They Were Tracked With Apple AirTag At Disney World

'Terrified' Family Says They Were Tracked With Apple AirTag At Disney World

A family visiting Disney World claim their movements were being tracked by an Apple AirTag

A Tennessee family believes an unknown person was tracking their movements using an Apple AirTag during their trip to Disney World.

The Gaston family say they were left 'terrified' when they discovered the device and that their movements over the past few hours had been tracked by someone.

Jennifer Gaston said the family discovered the AirTag when they received a notification saying an owner of a device was tracking them.

Her daughter was reportedly able to see the tracker had been following their progress throughout the park for the last few hours. Gaston said the family looked for the device when they reached their car but could not find it, so they drove away and called the police.

The Gaston family were at Disney World.
Alamy

She told Fox 35 Orlando: "We were terrified, we were confused, hurt, and scared. She literally watched it follow us from the tram all the way back to our vehicle.

"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."

Gaston said she was 'praising God' that the outcome was not worse as 'this story could have ended way differently'.

Apple's AirTags are meant to be used to keep track of personal items, they work by being attached to something you don't want to lose and tracked through an app that tells you where the AirTag is.

The device sends out Bluetooth signals which reach out to other Apple gadgets to provide a last known location, with so many iPhones out there it's not hard for an AirTag to give a clear idea of where it is.

The Apple AirTag allows people to keep track of things.
Alamy

While this is their intended use, the nature of the device has opened it up to being a tool abused by criminals.

The Verge warns that they could be exploited by stalkers, and that Apple has been taking measures to crack down on the devices being abused.

They now come with a warning that using an AirTag to track someone without their consent is illegal, and if an unknown device is found to have been travelling with someone for an extended period of time that person will receive a notification to say are potentially being tracked, just as the Gaston family did.

In February this year, Apple released a blog post about the dangers of unwanted tracking via AirTags, which includes advice on guarding against unwanted tracking.

A spokesperson for Apple told UNILAD: "AirTag was designed to help people locate their personal belongings, not to track people or another person’s property, and we condemn in the strongest possible terms any malicious use of our products. Unwanted tracking has long been a societal problem, and we took this concern seriously in the design of AirTag. It’s why the Find My network is built with privacy in mind, uses end-to-end encryption, and why we innovated with the first-ever proactive system to alert you of unwanted tracking. We hope this starts an industry trend for others to also provide these sorts of proactive warnings in their products.

"We design our products to provide a great experience, but also with safety and privacy in mind. Across Apple’s hardware, software, and services teams, we’re committed to listening to feedback and innovating to make improvements that continue to guard against unwanted tracking.”

UNILAD has reached out to Disney World for comment.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]  

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Apple, Disney World