Apple is being sued by two women who say its AirTag devices made it easier for their former partners and other stalkers to track down victims.
In a class-action lawsuit filed Monday in San Francisco federal court, the women say Apple has failed to protect people from unwanted human trafficking with AirTag since it launched the so-called “anti-stalker” device in April 2021.
AirTags, which start at $29, are 1-1/4 inches in diameter and are designed to be wrapped around or attached to keys, wallets, backpacks and other items so people can find them when they’re lost.
But privacy experts and law enforcement officials say some people use Airtags for criminal or malicious purposes.
Plaintiffs have called the AirTag the “weapon of choice of stalkers and abusers” and said it was linked to the murders of women in Akron, Ohio and Indianapolis this year.
Monday’s lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for U.S. owners of iOS- or Android-based devices that were tracked by AirTag or were “at risk” of prosecution because of Apple’s negligence.
Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.
The Cupertino, California-based company acknowledged that “bad actors” tried to misuse the Airtags.
In February, Apple announced scheduled updates making it easier to find devices and more quickly alert users that unknown AirTags may be “traveling with them”.
In Monday’s lawsuit, one of the plaintiffs, Lauren Hughes, said she found out where her ex-boyfriend had moved to avoid her after he placed an AirTag on the wheel of her car.
He said he later posted a photo of a taco truck from his new neighborhood online and added a winking emoji with the hashtag “#airt2.0.”
Another plaintiff, Jane Doe, said her estranged husband followed her after placing an AirTag in her child’s backpack.
The case is Hughes et al v. Apple Inc., U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 22-07668.