Apple sued by 2 women for AirTag stalking by former partners

Apple sued by 2 women for AirTag stalking by former partners

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Apple has been sued by two women who claimed that their AirTags had made it more convenient for stalkers and former partners to keep tabs on and track down victims, media outlets including Reuters, The Washington Post, and Bloomberg reported.

AirTags have been labelled as a "weapon of choice of stalkers and abusers" by the women, Reuters said. The device was also reportedly linked to murders of women from three other US cities this year. 

The lawsuit also alleged that Apple has failed to make AirTags "stalker-proof", according to The Washington Post. This was even after domestic violence advocates voice their concerns about the AirTag when it was released in 2021. Apple was also accused of "negligence, design defects and privacy violations".

The AirTag was meant for consumers to track their stuff easily, with Apple describing the technology on its website as "a super-easy way to keep track of your stuff". Users can then use the Find My app to track their Apple devices. AirTags have since been used to locate items such as wallets and luggages.

However, The Washington Post said that critics have highlighted the issue of the AirTags being used by "predators". Despite these warnings, Apple reportedly "forged ahead heedlessly" and was even said to "dismiss concerns" prior and after the release of the AirTags.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for US owners of iOS or Android-based devices who were tracked by AirTag, Reuters said, or are at risk of being stalked because of Apple's alleged negligence with the technology and lack of secure measures for its users.

While Apple did not directly comment on the lawsuit, The Washington Post said the spokesperson referenced a statement made in February. The company previously said it became aware that individuals can receive unwanted tracking alerts via AirTags for benign reasons, such as when borrowing someone’s keys with an AirTag attached, or when travelling in a car with a family member’s AirPods left inside.

The tech giant also added previously that it has seen reports of bad actors attempting to misuse AirTag for malicious or criminal purposes. It is currently working closely with various safety groups and law enforcement agencies. It has since made updates including new privacy warnings during AirTag setups, addressing alert issues for AirPods, and updated support documentation.

Despite these efforts, Apple still seems to be falling short in ensuring the privacy of consumers whenever AirTags are involved. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Apple for comment on the lawsuit.

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