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Woman reports being tracked by Apple AirTag

A Massachusetts woman says she received a notification from Apple which alerted her that someone was tracking her through an AirTag, a small device that is meant to track belongings such as a wallet or a set of keys.Francesca Nardelli, of Boston, said that when she shared her experience on social media, she was flooded with messages from other women who said the same thing happened to them.”I was horrified,” Nardelli said. “It said the owner of the device could see my location and it showed me a map of everywhere that I had just been.”After seeing the map that tracked her every move, including to her home, Nardelli called the Boston Police Department.Nardelli thought the AirTag was hidden somewhere on her car, but police officers could not find it after thoroughly searching her vehicle, inside and out.”It definitely was on her person somewhere. These AirTags are about the size of a quarter, and they could put it somewhere where it’s basically impossible to find,” said Bob Rudis, chief security data scientist for Rapid7, a Boston-based cybersecurity company. “Even if someone did a really thorough job of looking at a car, looking at all the parts, it could still be somewhere on there.” According to Apple, the alert received by Nardelli is part of the AirTag’s safety feature to notify users that an unknown device is following them.Rudis, however, said people will only get that alert from Apple if they have an iPhone. Apple does have an AirTag app for Android phones, but it will not send a tracking notification for Android users.”(The battery on an AirTag) will last a good year. So it could be on you for a year and if you don’t have an iPhone, you wouldn’t even know it’s on you,” Rudis said.In Nardelli’s case, there was a 35-minute delay from when the map said tracking began to when she received the alert.”There is some implicit delay between the lingering time that an AirTag has to be with you, or a foreign AirTag has to be with you,” Rudis said.”It’s really scary and it’s a lot more serious than it sounds,” Nardelli said. “You don’t know the motives people have of putting a device on your car. It could be stealing your car. It could be to harm you.”The Boston Police Department confirms it is investigating Nardelli’s case.In a statement, Apple said it has been actively working with law enforcement on all AirTag-related requests they have received.

A Massachusetts woman says she received a notification from Apple which alerted her that someone was tracking her through an AirTag, a small device that is meant to track belongings such as a wallet or a set of keys.

Francesca Nardelli, of Boston, said that when she shared her experience on social media, she was flooded with messages from other women who said the same thing happened to them.

“I was horrified,” Nardelli said. “It said the owner of the device could see my location and it showed me a map of everywhere that I had just been.”

After seeing the map that tracked her every move, including to her home, Nardelli called the Boston Police Department.

Nardelli thought the AirTag was hidden somewhere on her car, but police officers could not find it after thoroughly searching her vehicle, inside and out.

“It definitely was on her person somewhere. These AirTags are about the size of a quarter, and they could put it somewhere where it’s basically impossible to find,” said Bob Rudis, chief security data scientist for Rapid7, a Boston-based cybersecurity company. “Even if someone did a really thorough job of looking at a car, looking at all the parts, it could still be somewhere on there.”

According to Apple, the alert received by Nardelli is part of the AirTag’s safety feature to notify users that an unknown device is following them.

Rudis, however, said people will only get that alert from Apple if they have an iPhone. Apple does have an AirTag app for Android phones, but it will not send a tracking notification for Android users.

“(The battery on an AirTag) will last a good year. So it could be on you for a year and if you don’t have an iPhone, you wouldn’t even know it’s on you,” Rudis said.

apple airtags

In Nardelli’s case, there was a 35-minute delay from when the map said tracking began to when she received the alert.

“There is some implicit delay between the lingering time that an AirTag has to be with you, or a foreign AirTag has to be with you,” Rudis said.

“It’s really scary and it’s a lot more serious than it sounds,” Nardelli said. “You don’t know the motives people have of putting a device on your car. It could be stealing your car. It could be to harm you.”

The Boston Police Department confirms it is investigating Nardelli’s case.

In a statement, Apple said it has been actively working with law enforcement on all AirTag-related requests they have received.

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