Apple must face lawsuit claiming AirTags are stalkers' weapons, US court rules

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Apple Inc. Lost a bid to dismiss a lawsuit that alleged its AirTag devices help stalkers track their victims. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco ruled Friday that three plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit had made sufficient claims for negligence and product liability, though he dismissed the others.

The nearly three dozen women and men who filed the lawsuit alleged that Apple was warned about the risks posed by its AirTags and argued that the company is protected under California law when the tracking devices are used for misconduct. Can be held legally guilty.

In the three remaining claims, the plaintiffs “allege that, when they were pursued, the problems with the AirTags' security features were substantial, and that those security defects caused their injuries,” Chhabria wrote.

Apple had argued that it designed the AirTag with “industry-first” security measures and should not be held liable if the product is misused.

“Apple may ultimately be correct that California law does not require it to do more to curtail stalkers' ability to effectively use AirTags,” the judge wrote in allowing the three plaintiffs to present their case. , but this decision cannot be made at this early stage.” Claim.

A company spokesperson did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment on the decision.

Apple was accused by advocacy groups and others of carelessly releasing AirTags despite warnings that the product would be repurposed for surveillance. “With a price tag of just $29, it has become the weapon of choice for stalkers and abusers,” according to the complaint.

Apple has developed a feature that alerts users when an AirTag is tracking them, but that and other security measures aren't enough, according to the suit.

Tile Inc. is facing similar allegations that Amazon.com Inc. Its tracking devices connected to the U.S.'s Bluetooth network lack adequate protection against stalking.

The case is Hughes v. Apple, Inc., 3:22-cv-07668, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

© 2024 Bloomberg LP


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