Judge calls Apple AirTag the “weapon of choice” for stalkers

  • A San Francisco judge has ruled that Apple must face a lawsuit that alleges negligence at the company regarding the stalking risks surrounding its AirTag devices.
  • The lawsuit states that Apple is aware of the tracking risks of its devices, and should be held liable if misused.
  • The judge added that AirTags have “become the weapon of choice of stalkers and abusers.”

When Apple first released the AirTag in 2021 – its Bluetooth-enabled tracking device to keep tabs on a user’s odds and ends – the Cupertino-based company likely never imagined just how divisive they would be.

The Apple AirTag is quite useful and handy when it comes to tracking, so much so that it has since been used for nefarious ends, and in particular the unauthorised tracking of people by stalkers. This became such a problem that Apple updated its policies regarding use of the tracker, and how early it would alert people in its vicinity that it was active or in-use.

While the measures are welcome, they have not stopped Apple from being sued in the Northern California district court.

To that end US District Judge Vince Chhabria has ruled that Apple should face a lawsuit, per Bloomberg (paywall). The lawsuit alleges that Apple was negligent in the development and release of the Bluetooth-enabled devices, adding that it was aware of the fact that they could and were being used to stalk people or track them without their knowledge, therefore making them liable.

Citing three plaintiff claims, Judge Chhabria noted that, “when they were stalked, the problems with the AirTag’s safety features were substantial, and that those safety defects caused their injuries.”

He added that AirTags have “become the weapon of choice of stalkers and abusers,” in a rather damning series of statements.

With Apple now set to face the lawsuit, it remains to be seen what the outcome will be, and whether more steps will need to be taken to safeguard others against the nefarious use of AirTags and other similar tracking devices.

Given just how many may be out in the wild, Apple could have a serious problem on its hands depending how things play out in court.


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