Apple is the target of a class action lawsuit alleging that AirTag has become a “dangerous” tool for stalkers to track and follow women and that the company has not done enough to counter the practice.
Two women filed a federal lawsuit against Apple on Monday in the Northern District Court of California, alleging that their exes used the real-time location tracker to track and harass them. The suit arrived after several police reports were released in 2022 alleging that the tool had been used to follow several individuals.
AirTags’ live-tracking of location makes it “One of the most dangerous and frightening technologies employed by stalkers,” the suit claims. One of the two women in the case claims that her ex-boyfriend colored an AirTag with a sharpie and hid it inside the wheel well of her car. The other woman alleged that her “estranged husband” had planted the AirTag onto their child’s bag. When she removed the device, it was later replaced.
The tags have been used to track an assortment of individuals. One family said they were “terrified” after discovering that a stranger had attached an AirTag to their luggage during their visit to Walt Disney World.
Apple acknowledged “reports of bad actors attempting to misuse AirTag for malicious or criminal purposes” in a February blog post. The Big Tech company said that it was working with law enforcement and other experts to counter these efforts and releasing a series of updates to account for these fixes. These include “precision finding” for the iPhone that would allow users to locate unwanted trackers and text alerts that would help a user find an AirTag if it is placed somewhere where its sound is muffled. The updates have not been released as of December 2022.
The suit asks that a jury assess whether Apple should owe punitive damages for allegedly releasing the AirTag with insufficient safety measures to stop said stalking practices.