Two women file lawsuit against Apple after their exes used quarter-inch sized AirTag trackers to stalk them. The lawsuit alleges that Apple’s mistakes regarding privacy considerations with AirTag were negligent in violation of California’s constitutional right to privacy. AirTag, according to the lawsuit, is an “unreasonably dangerous product” that gives stalkers a tool to track their victims’ locations.
One woman claims her ex-boyfriend stalked her after he hid an AirTag in the wheel of her car. Another claims her ex-husband put one of the trackers in her child’s backpack and used it to monitor her location. The first woman claims that she was forced to move into the hotel after being repeatedly harassed by her ex-husband.
Apple launched the tracking device in April 2021 as a direct competitor to the popular Tile devices at the time. The trackers, which send a Bluetooth signal that can be detected by nearby devices on Apple’s massive Find My network, are an incredibly useful tool for tracking keys, luggage, or other frequently lost items. Some people even use them to monitor their pets, children and even elderly family members, although the ethics of these cases are less clear. However, the same features that make AirTags so useful also make them particularly attractive to stalkers, something privacy advocates and researchers warned about even before the devices launched.
While Apple has released numerous updates over the past year to address security and privacy concerns, the complaint accuses Apple of “mindlessly” promoting its device despite a wave of concern from advocates who warned of the potential ramifications of prosecution. AirTag, the complaint claims, “revolutionized the scope, breadth and ease of location-based tracking.”
“At a price of only $29, it has become a weapon of choice of stalkers and abusers,” the lawsuit states.
To Apple’s credit, it’s constantly adding security features designed to at least slightly reduce the risk of stalking.