Apple sued by women who say AirTag allows stalkers to track victims By Reuters
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Apple Inc. logo is seen hanging at the entrance to the Apple Store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, New York, U.S., October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo/File Photo
By Jonathan Stempel
(Reuters) – Apple Inc (NASDAQ:) has been sued by two women who say its AirTag devices made it easier for former partners and other stalkers to track down victims.
In a proposed class action lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in San Francisco, the women said Apple has been unable to protect people from unwanted traffic via AirTag since launching what it called the “stalker-proof” device in April 2021.
Starting at $29, AirTags measure 1-1/4 inches (3.2 cm) in diameter and are meant to be slipped or attached to keys, wallets, backpacks and other objects so people can find them when they are lost.
But privacy experts and law enforcement said some people use Airtags for criminal or malicious purposes.
The plaintiffs called AirTag “the weapon of choice for stalkers and abusers,” and said it was linked to the murders this year of women in Akron, Ohio and Indianapolis.
Monday’s lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from U.S. owners of iOS or Android devices that have been AirTag-tracked or are “at risk” of being tracked due to Apple’s alleged negligence.
Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.
The Cupertino, Calif.-based company admitted that “bad actors” tried to misuse Airtags.
In February, Apple announced planned upgrades to make devices easier to find and notify users more quickly that unknown AirTags might be “traveling with them.”
A plaintiff in Monday’s lawsuit, Lauren Hughes, said her former boyfriend learned where she went to avoid him after she placed an AirTag in the wheel arch of his car.
She said he then posted a photo of a taco truck from his new neighborhood online and included a winking emoji with the hashtag “#airt2.0.”
The other complainant, Jane Doe, said her ex-husband tracked her down after she put an AirTag in their child’s backpack.
The case is Hughes et al v. Apple Inc, US District Court, Northern District of California, No. 22-07668.