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A family’s trip to Disney World turned sour after they discovered they may have been tracked throughout the theme park using AirTags.
The Gaston family members from Tennessee had spent an entire day having fun at Disney World, but a notification on an iPhone about an AirTag they didn’t have to track their movements clouded the end of the day at the Magic Kingdom .
Mother Jennifer Gaston and daughter Madison were heading to their car late one evening when they were told an AirTag was traveling with them, reports WKRN. Jennifer said the first detection was at 7:09 p.m. and the notification appeared on their device at 11:33 p.m.
Checking the notification, Madison saw a map showing where they had walked in the park over a four-hour period. “It showed the first destination it was detected with her, and then it basically draws a line and makes the connections of the points where it had been,” Jennifer said.
In an attempt to find the AirTag, the mother and daughter shook their bags and clothes in the parking lot, but were unable to find the device. They then drove to their hotel and called the police on the way.
If an AirTag is found, it can be turned over to the police, who can then use the serial number to track down its owner. However, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said the responding deputy did not identify a criminal offense since the physical tag was not found.
Even so, investigators took an incident report and said they were aware of the situation.
Although it is plausible that the AirTag fell and disappeared in the parking lot, OSCO offers the possibility that it was an identification error. It is proposed that the large number of Apple devices in the park, along with the AirTags, could have produced a “mistaken” detection.
“As a parent, I was so frantic in the moment,” Jennifer told the report. “Just to think someone had those intentions. Watching your girls and having those intentions was just terrifying.”
Madison said she was scared because she had seen videos of AirTag harassment, “but it’s one of those things that you never think is going to happen to you until it actually happens.”
In all likelihood, the family was near a group of people in the park, one or more of whom had an AirTag. Some of the most popular attractions can have queues of up to two hours – and sometimes longer. Also, a crowd sometimes gathers three hours before the nightly fireworks.
Even though Apple says the AirTag is not for tracking people, AppleInsider saw families with children wearing AirTags on special collars in parks.
The misuse of AirTag for harassment has drawn the attention of lawmakers and authorities, prompting the New York Attorney General to issue a tracker warning in February. Apple has also come under fire for its anti-harassment features, which in an April report were found not to be as effective as they could be.
Even so, there are instances where anti-harassment features have proven useful. In February, the features were credited for the arrest of a stalker who attempted to use an AirTag hidden in a trailer hitch.