Apple Inc. has been sued by two women who said the AirTag devices have made it easier for their former partners and other stalkers to track down victims.
In a proposed class action filed Monday in federal court in San Francisco, the women said Apple has failed to protect people from unwanted trafficking via AirTag since the launch of the so-called “stalkerproof” device in April 2021.
Starting at $29, AirTags measure 1-1/4 inches (3.2 cm) in diameter and are meant to slip into or attach to keys, wallets, backpacks, and other items so people can find them when they’re lost to be.
But privacy experts and law enforcement officials have said that some people use Airtags for criminal or malicious purposes.
Prosecutors called AirTag “the weapon of choice for stalkers and abusers,” and said it has been linked to murders this year of women from Akron, Ohio and Indianapolis.
Monday’s lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for US owners of iOS or Android-based devices who were tracked by AirTag or “at risk” of being stalked due to Apple’s alleged negligence.
Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.
The Cupertino, California-based company has acknowledged that “bad actors” have tried to misuse Airtags.
In February, Apple announced planned upgrades to make it easier to find the devices and more quickly warn users that unknown AirTags may “travel with them.”
A plaintiff in Monday’s lawsuit, Lauren Hughes, said her ex-boyfriend found out where she had gone to avoid him after placing an AirTag in the wheel well of her car.
She said he later posted a photo online of a taco truck from her new neighborhood, with a winking emoji with the hashtag “#airt2.0.”
The other accuser, Jane Doe, said her estranged husband followed her after putting an AirTag in their child’s backpack.
The case is Hughes et al v. Apple Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, no. 22-07668.