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Monday, Feb 06, 2023

Apple AirTags hidden in wheels and children's backpacks so men could find ex-partners, lawsuit claims

Apple AirTags hidden in wheels and children's backpacks so men could find ex-partners, lawsuit claims

One of the women says her estranged husband put an AirTag in their child's backpack in order to follow her. They say the tiny tracking devices, intended to help people find lost keys or purses, are the "weapon of choice of stalkers and abusers".
Two women are suing Apple after they claimed AirTag devices made it easier for their ex-partners to track them down.

Apple said it had made the devices "stalkerproof" - but a proposed class action lawsuit filed in San Francisco alleges this is not the case.

Starting at £24, AirTags are small discs - about 3cm in diameter - that are intended to be attached to keys, wallets, backpacks and other items so people can find them when they are lost.

But fears have grown some people are using the trackers for criminal or malicious purposes.

The two women are suing for themselves and on behalf of others who claim they have been stalked because of AirTags.

Lauren Hughes moved house to avoid a former boyfriend, and alleges he discovered her new location after he placed an AirTag in her car's wheel well.

She said he later posted a photo online of a taco truck from her new neighbourhood, and included a winking emoji with the hashtag "#airt2.0".

The other plaintiff, who remains anonymous, said her estranged husband tracked her down after putting an AirTag in their child's backpack.

They have described AirTags as "the weapon of choice of stalkers and abusers" - and claim it has been linked to murders this year of women from Ohio and Indiana.

The devices use a Bluetooth signal that can be detected by Apple's Find My Network feature.

Their lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for US owners of iOS or Android-based devices who were tracked by AirTag or are "at risk" of being stalked because of Apple's alleged negligence.

Apple has not yet responded to requests for comment.

The California-based company has acknowledged that "bad actors" have tried misusing AirTags.

In February, Apple announced planned upgrades to make it easier to find the devices, and warn users faster if unknown AirTags might be "travelling with them".
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