Apple to Face Lawsuit Over AirTag Stalking Claims, Judge Rules

What you should know


  • Apple is facing a class action lawsuit for negligence, accused of allowing its AirTag item trackers to be used by stalkers, despite a judge in San Francisco dismissing the majority of the claims but refusing Apple’s request for dismissal based on substantial safety defects claimed by three plaintiffs.
  • The lawsuit claims that AirTag item trackers have “become the weapon of choice of stalkers and abusers,” arguing that Apple’s design was defective and did not perform safely as an ordinary consumer would expect, especially in foreseeable misuse scenarios.
  • Apple has implemented a feature to combat stalking with AirTags, where the device makes a loud sound when separated from its owner and moving with someone over time, and is working with Google to address the issue, though Android users are highlighted as being more vulnerable to stalking due to lack of direct notification.
  • AirTags use Bluetooth technology to emit signals to nearby Apple devices, which then report the AirTag’s location, allowing it to be tracked without a direct internet connection, leveraging a vast network of Apple products in the United States.


Full Story

Oh boy, Apple’s in a bit of a pickle now. They’re facing the music over how their AirTag item trackers have been used. And not for finding lost keys. We’re talking about stalkers using them to track people. Creepy, right? A judge in San Francisco was like, “Nope, Apple, you’re gonna have to answer for this.” They’re now defendants in a class action lawsuit. The accusation? Negligence.

Yahoo spilled the beans that most of the claims got tossed out by the judge. But, he was like, “I can’t let you off the hook, Apple.” Why? Because three people said those AirTag safety features weren’t cutting it. They claimed these flaws led to them being stalked. And now, they’re pointing fingers at Apple, saying, “You should’ve seen this coming.”

The plaintiffs are pretty adamant. They’re telling Apple, “You knew this could happen.” If they’re right, Apple might be in hot water under California law. Apple, on the other hand, is shaking its head, disagreeing with the whole thing.

The lawsuit doesn’t mince words. It straight-up calls the AirTag a “weapon of choice for stalkers and abusers.” That’s harsh. According to the plaintiffs, the AirTag’s design is flawed. They’re saying it’s not safe for the “ordinary consumer.” Especially when it’s used in ways that, sadly, seem pretty foreseeable now.

Now, here’s a twist. Apple did try to do something about this mess. They made it so the AirTag would make a loud noise if it’s away from its owner for too long. Get this: if you find yourself with a mystery AirTag moving with you, you can make it beep. Just tap on the notification and hit “Play Sound.” It’s like a game of hot and cold to find the sneaky tracker.

Oh, and guess what? Apple and Google are joining forces to tackle this stalking issue. But, there’s a snag for Android users. They’re more exposed to this stalking threat. The lawsuit points out that nearly half of Americans with their Android phones might not even know they’re being tracked. Yikes.

Let’s dive into how these AirTags work. They don’t need the internet. Nope. They use Bluetooth to send signals to nearby Apple devices. It’s like they’re playing tag, saying, “Hey, I’m here!” Then, those devices help the AirTag’s owner find it on a map. It’s pretty clever, actually. But there’s a catch. The AirTag has to be within 30 feet of an Apple device to be spotted.

The plaintiffs are stressing this point. With so many Americans owning Apple gadgets, it’s like there’s a massive network out there. A network that could, unintentionally, help a stalker. As of 2017, 64% of Americans had an Apple product. That’s a lot of potential beacons for an AirTag.

So, there you have it. A tech marvel turned into a controversy. Only time will tell how this lawsuit pans out for Apple. But one thing’s for sure: it’s a wake-up call for all of us about the tech we carry around every day.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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