USI student tracked by Apple Air Tag that doesn’t belong to her

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Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 6:19 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - A University of Southern Indiana student recently found out someone was tracking her using an Apple Air Tag.

“So at 1:01 on Thursday is when it let me know that it had been following me,” Sarah Jones read aloud the notification on her iPhone that let her know she was being followed.

“Your location can be seen by the owner of this Air Tag”

That’s how Apple products notify you that an Air Tag has been on or near you for an extended period of time. They’re a newer product by Apple that links to the “Find My” app on your phone, designed to help you keep track of your things. In Sarah Jones’ case, it was being used to track her.

“It told me that an unknown device was moving with me, so I clicked on it, and it showed that it had been put on the previous day at USI, followed me to my house, then I didn’t use my car for the rest of the night I was with a friend, so it stayed there,” said Jones. “When I went back to USI in my car, it tracked me there and notified me later in the day. All the way back across town to my house, where it shows the air tag was, then all the way back to USI the next day.”

Jones comes to school like any other student, to just learn and feel safe doing it. Now, she says she feels both unsafe, and angry.

“I try to take daily precautions to not do things that are going to put me in these positions, so it just really frustrates me that no matter what you do, even if you’re in public or at a school, someone would feel the need to do that,” she said.

Jones says since posting about what she’s gone through online, she’s found she’s not the only one.

“I’ve had two different girls from this campus, and I’ve had some girls from Bloomington say ‘yeah I had the same thing happen to me,’” Jones said.

The hard part is, you can’t disable an air tag unless you find where it is, making it difficult to take action when this happens.

“Like in my case, I haven’t found it, so if the person did remove it, they already found out where my home is,” said Jones. “They already know where I live, they know the cars there. What’s scary is someone could track you and then six months from then, a year from then, two years from then, then try to do something.”

USI Public Safety is aware of this and are investigating, they say this has been a nationwide trend.

Apple has made a list of things you can do if you get this notification, you can find that here.

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