Former Love Island contestant Montana Brown has claimed she was tracked by an an Apple device, without her knowledge, making her feel “unsafe”.
The 27-year-old reality TV star said in March she found an AirTag, which she says did not belong to her, in her bag when she was landing solo after a flight to see friends in Los Angeles, California.
She said she discovered the issue when a notification popped up on her iPhone saying an AirTag was travelling with her, and after speaking to her partner, he advised her to check her bags.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, she said: “So as soon as I got through security, I was kind of brushing (it) off at this point: ‘Oh, it was probably nothing.’
“And it was only until I went to the toilet and kind of emptied everything out my bag that it was at the bottom of my bag so that was really alarming because I genuinely had no idea that somebody was even that close to me to be able to put it into my bag.”
Brown added: “I kind of panicked and just flushed it down the toilet because I was in the toilet anyway and I just thought because I was so kind of spooked and I was really surprised that I actually found anything.”
She claims her iPhone notification said that the AirTag started being read shortly before she got on her flight to the US.
Brown added: “That’s the first time I’ve been on my own, really, and felt very unsafe and I just wanted to kind of get out of the airport as quickly as possible.
“But it definitely was a shocking experience because you kind of like go down a rabbit hole of: ‘What would they then have done next, and what would they have tracked my location for?'”
When asked if it had made her more aware of her belongings, she said: “Absolutely, I still am really baffled how someone managed to literally (get) that close proximity without me noticing.”
How can people protect themselves against being tracked?
One of the difficulties people may have is detecting a device in the first place.
Due in part to a lack of cross platform compatibility with Android and Apple products, an Android phone user would be unable to discover an Apple AirTag in the same way Ms Brown did.
However, security expert Will Geddes told GMB there are ways around that issue.
He said: "The thing with Apple is they are working on that technology to try and integrate it to an Android system, but that is very difficult.
"So one of the best things that I'm advising, is there are Bluetooth tracker or detector apps that you can purchase on Google Play or on the App store.
"I'm suggesting, a lot of celebrities like Montana have this, periodically checking. Because the time of notification could be anywhere in a period of 24-hours. So you could have the device on you for a day before you even realise."
Brown, who has appeared on Celebrity Mastermind, Celebrity Island With Bear Grylls and CelebAbility, was on series three of Love Island.
In 2017, she saw the competition won by entrepreneur Kem Cetinay and actress Amber Davies.
Brown announced her pregnancy with partner Mark O’Connor in December.
Apple has been contacted for a comment.
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