Apple Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Alleged AirTag Stalking Issues A judge in California has ruled that a class action lawsuit accusing Apple of negligence and product liability related to the misuse of AirTags for stalking can proceed. This decision comes despite Apple's efforts to have the lawsuit dismissed.

Apple AirTag tracking device
Apple AirTag tracking device

In a recent ruling, a California judge denied Apple’s request to dismiss a class action lawsuit concerning the alleged misuse of its AirTag product for stalking purposes. The lawsuit, initiated in December 2022, claims that Apple launched AirTags without adequate safety measures to prevent their use for stalking, citing the product’s affordability at $29 as a factor that potentially makes it attractive to stalkers and abusers.

The plaintiffs in the case, consisting of both women and men, argue that Apple was aware of the risks associated with AirTags but failed to implement sufficient safeguards.

They contend that the design of the AirTag is defective, as it does not perform safely in scenarios that are either intended or could reasonably be foreseen, such as being used for stalking.

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria allowed the lawsuit to move forward on the grounds of negligence and product liability. In his ruling, Judge Chhabria acknowledged the plaintiffs’ claims that the AirTag’s safety features were inadequate at the time they were stalked, leading to their injuries.

However, he also noted that it might still be possible for Apple to argue that California law does not obligate the company to take further action to prevent the misuse of AirTags by stalkers.

In response to the lawsuit, Apple has defended its product, emphasizing that the lawsuit incorrectly seeks to hold the company responsible for the intentional misuse of AirTags by third parties.

Apple stresses that it condemns any misuse of its products for tracking individuals without their consent and has cooperated with law enforcement on such matters. The company highlighted its role as the first Bluetooth-tracking device manufacturer to include features designed to prevent unwanted tracking.

Apple also mentioned that following the release of AirTag in April 2021, it introduced additional anti-stalking features in February 2022, such as improved alerts and sound notifications, which were later emulated by other companies in the industry, like Tile.

This legal development underscores the ongoing debate about the responsibility of tech companies to ensure their products are not used maliciously, and the challenges of balancing innovation with consumer safety.

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