Sports Illustrated model Brooks Nader, 25, took to her Instagram on Thursday to warn her followers to be more aware of their surroundings after she says a stranger tried to track her location using an Apple AirTag — a small Bluetooth tracking device.
In a series of videos posted to her Instagram stories, Nader called it the “scariest experience.” She told her more than 800,000 followers that she received a notification alerting her that her location was being tracked after leaving a bar in the New York City neighborhood of Tribeca
The model said she had been at a crowded restaurant bar waiting for a friend, and she had her coat slung behind her on a chair. She didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary and left and went to multiple other bars without realizing she was being tracked.
Then, as she was walking home alone around 11:30 p.m., she got the alert.
“Once I was already on my walk home, halfway home, I got the notification that was like, ‘Someone’s tracking you and has been for a while.’ So, I freaked out, obviously, and then, of course, my phone died.”
“It turns out it was an AirTag, which is a tiny little white circular thing that Apple makes,” she said. “I had no idea that these existed.”
In a statement to People, an Apple spokesperson said that they “take customer safety very seriously and are committed to AirTag’s privacy and security.”
Apple launched the device in April 2021 to help people keep track of important items like phones, keys and wallets. Apple says that “privacy is built-in” to the device and that only the owner of the AirTag can see where it is. The company also says it has addressed unwanted tracking with their automatic notification system — which is how Nader was alerted of her alleged stalker.
Apple says on their website that “to discourage tracking without your knowledge, Find My will notify you if an unknown AirTag or other Find My network accessory is seen moving with you over time. An AirTag that isn’t with the person who registered it for an extended period of time will also play a sound when moved so you can find it, even if you don’t use an iOS device. If you detect an unknown AirTag or Find My network accessory, use the steps below to learn about it and how to disable it.”