Apple’s AirTags are quickly becoming a major problem for celebrities, attractive individuals, and those with expensive vehicles. The popular tech company’s AirTags serve as tracking devices, empowering stalkers to track the whereabouts of people, automobiles, and other items. Though the technology was not invented with stalking in mind, it is clearly becoming a major problem as evidenced by the recent stalking incident involving Brooks Nader, a swimsuit model living in New York City.
Nader’s Stalking Sounds the Tech Alarm
A stranger slipped an Apple AirTag into Nader’s coat pocket at some point this past month. The stranger then stalked the swimsuit model across the ensuing days. Nader insists the stalker tracked her whereabouts, potentially in an attempt to abduct her. She insists she only realized she was being stalked when her iPhone alerted her to an unknown accessory planted on her person.
The phone also notified her that, “This item has been moving with you for a while.” The admission was made through Nader’s Instagram account with the handle “@brooksnader.”
Apple’s AirTag, initially released in April, is a tracking device the size of a nickel that functions as a key finder. Apple users attach the AirTag to personal items in an attempt to prevent them from becoming lost.
The diminutive gadgets sell for a mere $30, presenting an affordable opportunity to stalk people, steal cars, and pilfer other valuables. All it takes is a quick sleight of hand for a potential stalker to slide the tiny tracking device into a purse, coat pocket, or the bottom of an automobile for limitless tracking.
Nader Reaches Out to Apple
The supermodel who once appeared in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue shared a screen capture of the AirTag to Instagram Stories in an attempt to connect with Apple. She wrote, “@Apple, did you take into consideration the danger and potentially fatal consequences this device has?”
Nader went on to address her fans and critics, addressing questions as to whether the AirTag was actually her own. Nader insists the AirTag is not hers and that she is not seeking publicity. After all, it is often said that all publicity is good publicity for a public figure or individual looking to make a quick buck, especially in the context of social media attention. Nader went on to state that she hopes her experience serves as a public service announcement to “…all my ladies to please please check your belongings.”
Apple has acknowledged the potential for its AirTags to be used for nefarious purposes. Apple has also expressed interest in helping to prevent potentially deadly stalking attempts with the AirTags by notifying individuals if they have such a device on them that is not officially registered in their name. A company representative went on to state that AirTag is meant to discourage undesired tracking and that, “If someone else’s AirTag finds its way into your stuff, your iPhone will notice it’s traveling with you and send you an alert.”
Nader took the effort a step further by requesting that all of the ladies who read her social media posts check their belongings including their pockets, coats, bags, vehicles, and surroundings. Though AirTag is built with proactive safety features that prevent undesired tracking, which is a breakthrough for the industry, it is still possible to use the tiny devices to track the activity and specific location of targeted individuals.
Apple’s Find My network has an intelligent and fully tunable system complete with deterrents applicable to AirTag and third-party products within the overarching Find My network program for accessories. However, the bottom line is Apple has not done enough to prevent the improper use of AirTags and subsequent tracking. It is quite possible these devices will be pulled from the market in the year ahead or even in the months that follow Nader’s stalking.
Nader Isn’t the First Victim of AirTag Stalking
Those who haven’t paid close attention to the ongoing AirTag saga might be surprised to learn Nader’s stalking is just one of many using the new Apple devices. Search Google News or another search engine for stories about carjackings and you’ll find a growing number rely on the use of AirTags.
Rewind back to December of last year and you’ll also find news stories about a 27-year-old Mississippi resident who reached out to police after receiving an iPhone notification that she was carrying an unregistered AirTag.
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Another woman living in Maryland broadcast her experience with AirTag tracking last month on Twitter. Her alarming story of how a stalker planted an Apple AirTag on her vehicle prior to her departure from a bar in the early morning hours is concerning to say the least. Last summer, a Texas woman made waves on TikTok when posting a video in which she stated an AirTag was placed in her purse and used by an unknown individual to track her location.