According to The New York Post, Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Brooks Nader was followed for around five hours in New York City by a stalker who slipped an Apple AirTag into her coat pocket.
The 26-year-old had no idea the device was even on her person and was only alerted to its presence by a push notification on her iPhone, informing her that an “unknown accessory” had been detected and was moving with her.
Apple launched the AirTag for $29 USD ($39 CAD) in April of last year as a tracking device to help customers locate items using the company’s Find My network, which boasts over 1 billion Apple devices globally.
It is no stretch to imagine how functionality like that could be used maliciously by bad actors. There have been multiple reports of AirTags being used to stalk individuals and even mark and track cars for theft. Last month, a Dodge Charger owner in Detroit was notified of an AirTag in his car by his iPhone.
Nader later recounted the events to her 828,000 followers on Instagram.
“This ‘device’ followed me for the last five hours to every location and [it belonged to] no one in my ‘network.’ It also wasn’t a phone or tablet, it was an ‘item,'” she explained. “I want this to be a PSA to all my ladies to please please check your belongings.”
Apple, however, actively works to prevent AirTags from being used to track people without their consent, as notifications inform users of unknown devices following them.
The iPhone maker in December even launched an Android app to locate and notify users of unknown AirTags in their vicinity.
“We take customer safety very seriously and are committed to AirTag’s privacy and security,” an Apple spokesperson told The New York Post.
“AirTag is designed with a set of proactive features to discourage unwanted tracking — a first in the industry — and the Find My network includes a smart, tunable system with deterrents that applies to AirTag, as well as third-party products as part of the Find My network accessory program,” said the Apple spokesperson.