Apple has been sued by two women who allege their former romantic partners used the company’s AirTag devices to track their whereabouts, potentially compromising their safety.
The proposed class action lawsuit was filed Monday in federal court in San Francisco on behalf of a woman from Texas and another from New York. They are demanding damages in an unspecified amount.
One of the women said her ex-boyfriend allegedly attached an AirTag – a small tracking device, slightly larger than a quarter and is designed to help find lost objects – in the wheel well of a tire on her car. The device was said to be colored with a Sharpie marker and tied in a plastic bag to dress it up.
The other woman, identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe, said her ex-husband, who molested her and challenged her about her whereabouts, placed an AirTag in her child’s backpack, the lawsuit says. Though she tried disabling it, another soon popped up in its place, according to the complaint.
“MS. Doe remains concerned for her safety – at the very least, her stalker has demonstrated a commitment to continue using AirTags to track, harass and threaten her and continues to use AirTags to locate the plaintiff’s location,” it said in the lawsuit.”[She] is attempting to bring this lawsuit anonymously due to the real risk that identification would put them at increased risk of harassment and/or physical harm.”
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.
In 2021, Apple (AAPL) launched the AirTag, a $29 tile-like Bluetooth locator that attaches to items like keys, wallets, laptops, or even a car and helps users find them by using it almost everything has a digital footprint, so it can be found on a map. But shortly after launch, some experts warned the devices could be used to track people without theirs Approval.
This is reportedly not the first time AirTags have done this was used for unwanted tracking. In June, an Indiana woman reportedly used one to track down and eventually murder her boyfriend over an alleged affair. They are also said to have been used to steal cars.
Earlier this year, Apple added more safeguards to the AirTag to reduce unwanted tracking. In a blog post, Apple said it was working with security groups and law enforcement agencies to find more ways to update its AirTag security alerts, including warning people earlier and louder if the tiny Bluetooth tracker is suspected of tracking someone.
“We have come to realize that individuals may receive unwanted tracking alerts for innocuous reasons such as: “Borrowing someone else’s keys with an AirTag attached, or traveling in a car with a family member’s AirPods on,” the company said in a statement. “We have also seen reports of bad actors attempting to use AirTag for malicious or criminal purposes.”
“We strongly condemn any malicious use of our products,” the company said.
However, the new lawsuit alleges that these safeguards did little to protect victims. “While Apple has built security measures into the AirTag product, they are woefully inadequate and do little, if anything, to immediately alert individuals when they are being tracked,” it said.
It added that the women wanted to file the lawsuit on behalf of those “who have been and are being stalked about this dangerous product.”