At Disney World, a mother and her daughter have a terrifying AirTag encounter

At Disney World, a mother and her daughter have a terrifying AirTag encounter

Tech Highlights:

  • “We were terrified, we were confused, hurt, and scared,” said Jennifer Gaston. And to make things even scarier, as one of the last Disney World guests leaving the park that evening, after exiting the monorail they were walking through a near-empty parking lot. The mother admitted that she was “clueless” since she had no idea what an AirTag was. But her 17-year-old daughter knew and she tapped her iPhone screen to reveal that the mother and daughter had been tracked throughout the park for four hours.

  • The bad side of Apple’s AirTags has resurfaced, and this time it happened in Disney World. Jennifer Gaston and her daughter Madison were among the last guests leaving the Magic Kingdom one recent evening, according to FOX affiliate WOFL in Orlando, when Madison received an alarming notification on her iPhone. “AirTag Found Moving With You,” read the notification.

It was no doubt a nerve-wracking trip on the tram ride back to their car. After shaking out their clothing, the Gastons hopped in their vehicle, called the cops, and made a beeline for the hotel where they had been saying. At the hotel, Madison’s iPhone showed that the AirTag was still at their parking spot at Disney. “As she (Madison) 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,” Jennifer stated.

In the majority of cases, the victims found the rogue AirTags in their cars or heard them beeping. It was also discovered that in most cases, the person who planted the AirTag was a former partner or ex-boyfriend of the person being tracked. To make sure that your iPhone will send you a notification when you are being tracked by an AirTag that doesn’t belong to you, enable Bluetooth and make sure that you have the “Find My” app installed. Next, go to Settings > Privacy and make sure that Location Services is “On” and tap on it. That will take you to a list of apps. Apple’s Tracker Detect app for Android phones is available from the Google Play Store

“This story could have ended way differently,” Gaston said. “I’m praising God we have the outcome we have, but it’s because she (Madison) was diligent and aware of what to do.” Earlier this month we told you that Motherboard had analyzed 150 police reports involving AirTags that were filed over a recent eight-month period. Less than half of the reports filed were about a robbery or theft of an object while the remaining cases dealt with the harassment or stalking of women using AirTags. In 50 cases, the women called the cops after receiving a notification like the one received by Madison Gaston.

Scroll to the end of the list and tap on System Services. On the next page that appears, make sure that Find My iPhone and Significant Locations are both on. Open the Find My app and tap on “Me” and Customize Tracking Notifications. Make sure Allow Notifications is enabled. Sure, it is a pain, but as the Gastons showed us, it is worth the hassle since setting this up could save your life. Now, suppose you have an Android phone? Is Apple that callous that it doesn’t care about people who use Android instead of iOS? No, it isn’t.

Apple did develop an app called Tracker Detect that can be found in the Google Play Store. According to Apple’s description of the app, “Tracker Detect looks for item trackers that are separated from their owner and that are compatible with Apple’s Find My network. These item trackers include AirTag and compatible devices from other companies. If you think someone is using AirTag or another device to track your location, you can scan to try to find it.” So what do think about fact that other brand trackers have been available for years but they don’t have the ability to tell the person who’s a stranger to the tracker are being tracked so it’s been possible to be illegally and unsafely tracked for years but you just didn’t have a way to be warned about it until apples AirTags

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