The lawsuit claims that Apple has not taken enough precautions to ensure that AirTags cannot be used for stalking.
Two women have filed a lawsuit against Apple, alleging that its AirTag products facilitate stalking.
According to National Public Radio, the women filed a class action lawsuit on Monday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
In their complaint, the plaintiffs allege that Apple has failed to implement sufficient procedures to ensure that its AirTags are not used for illicit purposes.
Apple, notes N.P.R., introduced AirTags in 2021. They retail for about $29 in the United States and connect to other Apple devices via Bluetooth.
AirTags have been advertised as a cost-efficient, close-range alternative to Apple’s “Find My” device features, providing an approximate location for misplaced, lost, or stolen products.
“What separates the AirTag from any competitor product is its unparalleled accuracy, ease of use (it fits seamlessly into Apple’s existing suite of products), and affordability,” the lawsuit states. “With a price point of just $29, it has become the weapon of choice of stalkers and abusers.”
One of the two plaintiffs claims that, after divorcing her ex-husband, he placed an AirTag inside their child’s backpack.
During her “contentious divorce,” her spouse began “harassing her, challenging her about where she went and when, particularly when she was with the couple’s child.”
While the woman removed the AirTag, she found another device soon afterward.
The other plaintiff, identified as Lauren Hughe2s by N.P.R., claims that, after ending a short-term relationship with a man, he began calling her from restricted phone numbers and creating fake social media accounts to track her activities online.
Hughes states in the lawsuit that she was so disturbed by the man’s behavior that she began living in a hotel to ensure her own safety.
After checking into the hotel, Hughes received an alert that there was an AirTag near her location.
Hughes searched her belongings and found an AirTag hidden in the wheel well of one of her vehicle tires.
Once Hughes found a new apartment and moved in, the man posted a picture of a taco truck near her location with the hashtag “#airt2.0.”
Apple, notes N.P.R., does typically alert iPhone users if there is an unfamiliar AirTag near their location.
However, the notification is not immediate and is only available on certain devices with updated operating systems.
The lawsuit, adds The New York Times¸seeks unspecified compensatory damages for owners of iOS and Android devices who have been stalked with AirTags or at risk of being stalked.
The complaint observes that over 150 individuals had filed police complaints related to AirTag stalking as of April 2022.