Apple AirTags are being used as stalking devices, lawsuit claims
Apple's tracking tags were apparently used by two women's former partners to find their location
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Apple AirTags alert
👩⚖️ Apple has been sued by two women in a San Franciso federal court
🕵️ The women allege that Apple AirTags were used to as stalking devices
🗣️ They also claim that AirTags have been linked to the murder of other women
🙅♂️ Apple has said it condemns “in the strongest possible terms any malicious use of our products”
Apple is facing a lawsuit in a San Franciso federal court over the misuse of its AirTags device.
Two women have claimed that the coin-like Bluetooth trackers were used to pinpoint their location by former partners and were ultimately used to stalk them.
The lawsuit also alleges that AirTags have also been linked to the murders of women that took place in Akron and Ohio. A man was also murdered by a woman in Indiana, who suspected he was having an affair, tracked him down using an Apple AirTag device, and then ran him over.
Apple AirTags are designed to help you keep tabs on your wallet, keys or luggage to prevent them from being lost, but it appears that some people are using them for nefarious purposes.
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The BBC says several women have shared that they were either notified of or found AirTags on their person, with one woman saying she found an AirTag taped to her suitcase.
Eva Galperin, director of cyber security at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the BBC earlier this year: “If you create an item which is useful for tracking stolen items, then you have also created a perfect tool for stalking.”
Apple has stressed that AirTags are designed to stop them from being used in malicious ways. The device makes a 60-decibel beeping noise when it’s separated from its owner for more than three days and, if an AirTag is located with a person it’s not registered with, an alert should appear on their phone. However, it appears this failsafe only works with iPhones and not on Android devices.
This isn’t the first time concerns have been raised over Apple AirTags being used by stalkers. In 2021, Wired warned “Apple’s AirTags are a gift to stalkers” and Apple released a statement in February 2022, to provide an update on AirTags and unwanted tracking.
Apple’s statement reads:
“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. Unwanted tracking has long been a societal problem, and we took this concern seriously in the design of AirTag. It’s why the Find My network is built with privacy in mind, uses end-to-end encryption, and why we innovated with the first-ever proactive system to alert you of unwanted tracking. We hope this starts an industry trend for others to also provide these sorts of proactive warnings in their products.”
We’ll have to wait and see whether the AirTags lawsuit against Apple will be successful, but it once again highlights a legitimate concern that many have had over the tracking devices and should spur Apple into making even more improvements to prevent them from being misused.