Family Visiting Disney World Says Apple AirTag Was Used to Track Them

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
May 1, 2022 Updated: May 2, 2022

A Tennessee family who visited Disney World in Florida claimed that someone used an Apple tracking device to monitor their whereabouts.

“I had no idea, no idea what an AirTag was. Like, I was clueless,” said Jennifer Gaston, according to local media. “It stated that it was first detected with her at 7:09 p.m. and we got the notification at about 11:33 p.m.”

Her daughter, Madison, clicked on the notification and saw a map outlining all the places they had visited while at Disney World over the past four hours, the mother said in reports published over the past weekend.

“It showed the first destination where it was detected with her, then it basically draws a line and makes the connections of the points where she had been,” Gaston said.

Her daughter added that she had seen “videos of other people warning people about them and what they were basically. So that’s how I knew what they were and I did not ignore the notification.”

After checking their bags and car, the family drove back to their hotel without locating the Apple AirTag, which are small, coin-sized Apple devices generally used to track luggage and other items. But there have been reports of criminals using the devices for various nefarious purposes.

“As a parent, I just was so frantic in the moment,” Gaston remarked. “Just to think that somebody had those intentions. Looking at your daughters and just having those intentions, it was just terrifying.”

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the state’s top law enforcement agency, said it is investigating the family’s claims. Meanwhile, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Florida said the family contacted its office. However, because the family did not locate the AirTag, a deputy could not determine a criminal violation.

Some privacy experts have called on Apple to permanently end sales of the product.

“Some people who have ill will towards others are using it to potentially stalk people, follow people, tag vehicles, high luxury vehicles, that they might want to come back and steal,” David Benson, a security researcher, told Fox35. “Even if it’s not at epidemic proportions, it’s happening enough where it’s concerning.”

Several months ago, two women in Southern California claimed they were tracked by an Apple AirTag after they were shopping in the area.

“I immediately turned around, I was like, ‘I’m not going home because we were together the whole night in my car,'” Adrianna Ballesteros told ABC7. “So I was like, ‘If anything, it’s probably on my car.'”

When contacted about the case, Apple told news outlets at the time that the device allegedly has featured “to discourage unwanted tracking.”

“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,” the Big Tech giant said.

Disney and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office have not responded to a request for comment.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.