Apple is in the hot seat with two women who allege their exes used AirTags to track their locations, possibly endangering their safety. They’ve filed a lawsuit against the tech giant but didn’t specify how much they’re hoping to pocket, per CNN.
The report also didn’t identify the women; the only thing linking their incidents is the use of the Apple product and the unwanted tracking. Still, they’ve combined their cases in a class action lawsuit and filed it in San Francisco on Monday (Dec. 5).
Apple’s headquarters reside in Silicon Valley, in Cupertino–the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area. One of the women represented is reportedly from Texas, and the other is in New York.
Plaintiffs Allege Their Former Partners Secretly Used AirTags To Track Them
One plaintiff alleges her ex-boyfriend placed an AirTag into the tire area of her car. The device was allegedly colored with a sharpie marker and tied up in a plastic baggie, per CNN.
The other woman, given the anonymous identity Jane Doe, alleges her ex-husband had already been harassing her and questioning her whereabouts when he placed an AirTag in her child’s backpack. The lawsuit says Doe tried to disable the device, but the ex-husband allegedly replaced it with another. It’s unclear if they are both parents to the child involved.
“Ms. Doe continues to fear for her safety–at minimum, her stalker has evidenced a commitment to continuing to use AirTags to track, harass, and threaten her, and continue to use AirTags to find Plaintiff’s location,” the lawsuit states. Adding that, “[Jane Doe] seeks to bring thus action anonymously due to the real risk that being identified would expose her to increased risk of harassment and/or physical harm.”
An AirTag is a round, quarter-sized, silver tracking tool with Bluetooth capabilities. The device, per Apple, is supposed to help you “lose your knack for losing things.” It launched in 2021. The tech company sells it for $29 each or a four-pack at $99. It’s water-resistant and lightweight to transport.
All a person needs to activate an AirTag is an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad and an Apple ID to pair. One person can have multiple AirTags linked to their Find My app and its network, which helps keep track of Apple products.
Apple Acknowledged The Misuse Of AirTags Months Ago After Several Claims
In February, Apple condemned “any malicious use” of their products, including unwanted tracing using AirTag.
“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’s blog post said. “Unwanted tracking has long been a societal problem, and we took this concern seriously in the design of the AirTag.”
At the time of the statement, the security of the Apple accessory was already being challenged. In January, model Brooks Nadar revealed someone planted an AirTag on her in a restaurant. The owner of the AirTag tracked her for about four hours before she received a notification on her phone saying, “someone is tracking you and has been for a while.”
There have been similar incidents that also ended with women finding the devices after receiving an alert. For example, one woman claimed someone taped an AirTag inside her duffel bag. Another said she found one on her car, per Insider Tech.
@erikamichtorres #greenscreen #CustomersMostLoved #AEHolidayForever #DoTheJuJu #airtag #airtagtracking #stalking #unknownaccesory #police #danger #airtagoncar #apple ♬ Water Under the Bridge – Adele
Plaintiffs Say Apple Hasn’t Done Enough To Protect People
Apple addressed the growing concerns by revealing their work with law enforcement and advancements for the device.
Account details of AirTag owners can be released with a subpoena or “valid request” from law enforcement to identify perpetrators. Apple gave no specifics but said they’ve been successful in helping police to arrest and charge a few who’ve misused the AirTag.
They also announced updates to make people better aware of unwanted AirTags. Some are now in effect, including precision finding and phone alerts that eventually trigger a sound from any unknown AirTag if not found.
Still, the plaintiffs think the updated measures are insufficient to protect victims. The women say the lawsuit is on behalf of anyone who has been stalked or is at risk of stalking using Apple’s “dangerous” product.
“While Apple has built safeguards into the AirTag product, they are woefully inadequate and do little, if anything, to promptly warn individuals if they are being tracked,” the lawsuit alleges.