Two women are suing Apple over their exes’ use of AirTags to secretly track their movements and whereabouts in real-time.
The quarter-sized bluetooth devices, which the technology company rolled out in April of 2021, are marketed as tools that can be used to trace the location of owners’ personal objects. But since their commercial launch, people have complained the $29 tags are easy to misuse and.
The two women, identified as Lauren Hughes and “Jane Doe,” accuse Apple of negligently releasing a dangerous device, minimizing concerns about threats surrounding AirTags and misrepresenting the safety of the product by calling them “Stalker-Proof.”
AirTags have “revolutionized the scope, breadth, and ease of location-based stalking,” the suit claims.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.
“Weapon of choice of stalkers”
“With a price point of just $29, it has become the weapon of choice of stalkers and abusers,” the suit alleges.
Hughes, of Travis County, Texas, said she was stalked by an ex-boyfriend who tracked her using AirTags after the three-month-long relationship ended. After her alleged stalker left objects at her residence, she decided to move and temporarily relocated to a hotel, where she received a notification on her iPhone that an unknown AirTag had been tracking her.
Hughes later discovered that her stalker had attached a disguised AirTag to one of her car’s tires, according to the complaint, which was filed in federal district court in California. The device had been colored with a sharpie and wrapped in plastic. Apple store employees could not tell Hughes how long the device had been attached to her vehicle, the suit claims.
Hughes later moved to a new residence, and social media posts made by her ex indicate that he had followed her there, too, according to the suit.
The second plaintiff alleged her former spouse used an AirTag to follow her movements by placing the device in their child’s backpack. After she attempted to disable the first AirTag, another one showed up, according to the complaint.
Apple in February updated the safety and privacy features for AirTags following multiple reports of stalking.
“AirTag was designed to help people locate their personal belongings, not to track people or another person’s property, and we condemn in the strongest possible terms any malicious use of our products,” Apple said in a statement at the time.
The updated measures include an alert that notifies users setting up an AirTag that stalking is illegal and that law enforcement can access AirTag owners’ personal information.
To be sure, AirTag users also rely on the devices for their intended purposes like.