Apple Faces Lawsuit Over AirTags Being Used for Stalking, US Court Rules

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Apple Faces Lawsuit Over AirTags Being Used for Stalking, US Court Rules

Apple is set to face a lawsuit that claims its AirTags are being used by stalkers as a tracking tool. A US court ruled against Apple’s attempt to dismiss the case. San Francisco Judge Vince Chhabria stated that while some claims were dismissed, three plaintiffs in the class-action suit had valid arguments regarding product liability and negligence.

The lawsuit, filed by around three dozen individuals, allege that Apple was aware of the risks associated with AirTags but failed to address them adequately. The plaintiffs argue that Apple should be held accountable under California law for any misuse of the tracking devices.

According to the surviving claims, the plaintiffs argue that AirTag’s safety features were insufficient, leading to injuries when they were stalked.

Apple claimed that it had introduced safety measures that were ahead of the industry standard. They argued that they shouldn’t be blamed if people misused their product. However, the judge decided that it was too soon to say if California law demanded Apple to take further steps to stop stalkers from using AirTags easily.

Apple might eventually be correct in saying that California law didn’t demand additional measures to reduce the risk of stalkers using AirTags effectively. However, this decision can’t be made yet, at this initial phase, stated the Judge.

A company spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ruling.

The lawsuit accuses Apple of negligently releasing AirTags despite warnings from advocacy groups about potential misuse for surveillance. Priced at $29, AirTags has allegedly become a preferred tool for abusers and stalkers.

Although Apple introduced features to alert users when they might be tracked by an AirTag, the lawsuit argues that these measures are inadequate.

Last May, Google and Apple jointly proposed a plan to address unwanted tracking through Bluetooth location-tracking devices like AirTags. Their aim was to prevent unauthorized tracking using devices like AirTags.

Originally, these smart devices were designed to help travellers locate their misplaced luggage or items. However, there have been instances where individuals have used AirTags for purposes other than their intended use.

This year in January, it was reported that the release of the next-generation AirTag was postponed due to an excess supply of the first-generation product.

Tile Inc. is also facing similar allegations regarding its tracking devices connected to Amazon.com Inc.’s Bluetooth network, claiming they lack sufficient safeguards against stalking.