Apple is in legal trouble because of alleged AirTag stalking, and many believe Apple should do more to keep people safe. AirTags are great tools for tracking items like your keys, wallet, and luggage.
However, a lawsuit claims that AirTags are dangerous devices that can be used for stalking. In 2022, Apple rolled out several AirTags updates designed to make them safer, but has the company done enough to protect people from unwanted tracking?
On December 5th, 2022, Bloomberg reported that two women had filed a class action lawsuit against Apple because of alleged AirTag stalking.
In the lawsuit, one woman said she was stalked by an ex-boyfriend after he planted an AirTag in her car’s wheel well. The other plaintiff said her ex-husband tracked her location by stashing an AirTag in her child’s backpack.
The lawsuit claims that Apple is at fault because the company hasn’t done enough to make AirTags safe, especially for people that don’t own iPhones.
The Ongoing AirTag Stalking Controversy
This isn’t the first time AirTags have earned Apple some bad press. In fact, AirTags have been surrounded by controversy for months. In April, Motherboard reported that 150 police reports involved AirTags, with many of them involving women being tracked with the devices.
There are many reasons you should buy Apple AirTags, but some people think that AirTags make it way too easy to secretly track someone. And the fact that AirTags are affordable, easy to use, and extremely powerful trackers doesn’t help.
One thing that makes AirTags so good at tracking is that they operate on Apple’s Find My network. AirTags can communicate with hundreds of millions of Apple devices worldwide to pinpoint their location. That makes them much more powerful than competitors like Tile, which operate on a much smaller network of devices.
Apple’s Response to Unwanted AirTag Tracking
Apple released a statement in February 2022 detailing measures to make AirTags safer. The company said it would make it easier to find nearby AirTags, and pledged to work with law enforcement on cases involving AirTag tracking.
Throughout 2022, Apple rolled out a series of software updates designed to prevent unwanted tracking with AirTags. AirTags now send notifications to nearby iPhones to alert people that an unknown AirTag is nearby. AirTags also play a louder, more noticeable sound than before if they’re separated from their owner for too long.
Although Apple has introduced new features to alert iPhone users if an AirTag might be tracking them, the company hasn’t done the same for non-iOS devices.
If you don’t have an iPhone, you won’t automatically get notifications warning you that an AirTag may be tracking you. Instead, you’ll have to rely on the sound emitted by the AirTag. But some criminals are using AirTags to steal cars, so if it’s attached to the outside of a vehicle, it could be difficult or impossible to hear the sound.
That’s a huge problem, especially when you consider that over 70% of the smartphone market is made up of Android devices, not iPhones. Apple needs to make AirTags safer for all people, whether they’re Apple customers or not.
Although many people are blaming Apple for all AirTag-related stalking, the company has released several updates designed to keep people safe. And keep in mind that AirTag isn’t the only smart tracker on the market.
If someone wants to use technology to stalk someone, they might choose another smart tracker with less-robust safety features.
Apple designed AirTags to be handy tools for the mainstream consumer. But like almost any form of technology, AirTags can be dangerous if put in the wrong hands.