'We were terrified': Family believes AirTag used to track them at Orlando theme park
ORLANDO, Fla. - A family said they were tracked using a device while at an Orlando theme park.
Jennifer Gaston said while they were on the monorail on their way back to their car after visiting Walt Disney World, they got a notification saying the owner of an AirTag device was tracking them.
"We were terrified, we were confused, hurt, and scared," said Jennifer Gaston. "She literally watched it follow us from the tram all the way back to our vehicle."
Her daughter said it showed that the device had been tracking them for several hours as they were walking through the theme park. When they got to their car, they quickly looked for it and when they didn't find it, they jumped inside the car, locked the doors, drove away and called the police. Madison continued to look at the devices' location on her phone.
"As she 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," said Gaston.
AirTags are small, coin-sized Apple devices that people put on things like their keys, so if you lose them you can track them down using your phone. However, some criminals use the devices to follow people.
In fact, in response to growing concerns about how others have misused the devices, some privacy groups have called on the tech giant to permanently pull the gadgets from store shelves.
"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," said David Benson a security expert. "Even if it’s not at epidemic proportions, it’s happening enough where it’s concerning."
If you're in a similar situation, Benson advises people not to go home, or to their hotel if they're traveling, and instead go to a public location and call the police.
Apple explains how you can protect yourself and make sure you get the safety notifications here.
The Gastons are feeling thankful nothing came out of the terrifying warning but are hoping their story helps and educates someone else.
"This story could have ended way differently," said Gaston. "I’m praising God we have the outcome we have, but it’s because she was diligent and aware of what to do."
The Orange County Sheriff's Office did take her report but without having the AirTag itself, deputies did not identify this incident as a criminal violation.