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Apple Sued For Airtag Stalking

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A complaint filed Monday in San Francisco’s Northern District of California alleges that two women were stalked and harassed by former love partners using Apple’s AirTag product.

The proposed class action claims the internet giant of providing a product with “woefully insufficient, and do little, if anything, to swiftly warn users if they are being followed,” Bloomberg said. Plaintiffs want an unspecified amount.

In the San Francisco complaint, a woman claimed her boyfriend placed an AirTag to her car wheel to find her new house, where she moved to escape his harassment. The other plaintiff alleged she was divorcing her husband who would use an AirTag to track her and her child without consent.

Apple’s 1.26-inch AirTag is a “very easy method to keep track of your items” and fits in a jeans pocket. The Find My app locates and plays AirTag noises. “Precision Finding” simulates the colder/hotter game to locate the item.

According to Insider, the complaint calls the $29 tracker “the weapon of choice of stalkers and abusers” despite its intended use of tracking luggage. In June, a lady ran over a man she tracked with an AirTag.

AirTag has traced multiple ladies from Arizona to Connecticut.

After hearing “claims of nefarious actors,” Apple made various improvements to the AirTag in February, including warning iPhone users if they had been near an AirTag for a time and reminding users that the device is for tracking objects (and that stalking is a crime).

The lawsuit states that these safeguards are insufficient. Android users who use AirTags or fear being monitored must download a different app and actively check for notifications.

The unnamed plaintiff requested that a friend download the Android software to scan for AirTags, but there were too many in New York City.

Apple Airtag and its accessories. (Image by: Jonas Elia)

“It’s not a spy tool sold as a spy tool, because it’s promoted as an AirTag, and it’s Apple.”

– Adam Dodge

She told Insider that during a “contentious divorce,” she found AirTags in her child’s backpack many times.

The plaintiff, Lauren Hughes, alleged she dated a man for three months who stalked and harassed her. The suit says he used AirTags to find her when she fled to a hotel and another property.

The boyfriend wrote about “#airt2.0” on Instagram in her new neighbourhood.

In March, domestic violence and privacy groups told The Verge that Apple’s product’s precision, prominence in society, and marketing make it different from past abuse strategies like a tracker sewed in a teddy bear or Tile.

Adam Dodge told the Verge, “It’s not a spy tool sold as a spy tool, because it’s promoted as an AirTag, and it’s Apple.”

“People sometimes don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, evidently, and use it to track someone’s whereabouts because, to them, it’s a natural use of the technology,” Dodge told the publication.

A judge certifies a “proposed class action” to a class action. Bloomberg noted that this one represents “those who have been and who are at risk of stalking via this deadly product.”

According to Insider, Apple misled consumers by promoting the app’s anti-stalker functionality.

Info source – Entrepreneur

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