Judge Allows Lawsuit to Proceed Against Apple Over AirTag Safety Concerns


Apple Faces Lawsuit Over AirTag Stalking Risks

A federal judge in San Francisco has ruled that Apple must face a lawsuit accusing the company of negligence in addressing the potential stalking risks posed by its AirTag devices. The class-action suit, filed in the Northern District of California, alleges that Apple failed to adequately protect users from the misuse of AirTags for stalking purposes.

While Judge Vince Chhabria dismissed the majority of the roughly three dozen claims in the suit, he allowed three plaintiffs' claims to proceed. These plaintiffs argue that when they were stalked, the defects in the AirTag's safety features were significant and directly contributed to their injuries.

The lawsuit contends that Apple was aware of the potential for AirTags to be used for stalking but did not take sufficient measures to prevent such misuse, and should therefore be held liable under California law. Apple, however, disagrees with this assertion.

Following the release of AirTags, Apple introduced several safety features aimed at preventing stalking attempts. These include an update that causes AirTags to emit a loud sound when they are separated from their owner by a certain distance, as well as notifications alerting users to the presence of unknown trackers. Additionally, Apple and Google announced a collaborative effort last year to develop industry standards for proactively combating the misuse of tracking devices.

Despite these measures, the lawsuit alleges that AirTags have become the "weapon of choice" for stalkers and abusers. The case will now proceed in the Northern California district court, where Apple will have to defend itself against the remaining claims of negligence in addressing the stalking risks associated with its AirTag devices.