Apple AirTags causing major security concerns over reports of stalking

The Washington Post via Melina Mara/Getty Images

(New York) — Designed to help people track valuables, devices and other products, some claim Apple AirTags are used to track people.

Since the AirTags product launched in April 2021, there have been reports of stalking others using tracking devices that are a quarter the size, prompting calls for the tech giant to review its security measures. going up

“When you sell cheap tracking devices that are everywhere, the question is the product. Are you going to stop selling this before more people get hurt?” Albert Fox, executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project Cahn told “Nightline”:

When an AirTag is paired to a user’s iOS device, the user can use their phone to track the location of their AirTag. In June 2021, Apple updated its existing security measures so that a user’s phone will more accurately notify and play a tone within 24 hours if his AirTag is in motion.

There have been reports of people finding other people’s AirTags in purses, backpacks, coats, and other belongings. In December 2022, in California, she filed a class action lawsuit against two women, alleging that the product made them more susceptible to being stalked and harassed by abusers.

In June 2022, an Indianapolis man was allegedly murdered by his ex-girlfriend. The family of Andre Smith, 26, cited the incident and called for reform. Marion County Police say Smith’s ex-girlfriend, Galyn Morris, installed an air tag in the back of Smith’s car and followed him without his knowledge. Morris has pleaded not guilty to the murder charges and is awaiting trial.

Smith’s mother, Laprecia Sanders, told Nightline that after police took Smith’s car home, the family’s eldest son ripped open the car seat and found the tracker.

“A young woman who was in the car with him the night he was murdered told me and my family that Andre told her that ‘someone was following us’ and that he had turned on his cell phone. I said I kept watching,” Sanders said. “They looked around the car and couldn’t find the Apple AirTag.”

Smith’s story is one of many cases of ex-partners allegedly using trackers on unsuspecting victims.

Lauren Hughes told Nightline that after she broke up with her boyfriend, she too found an air tag in her car.

“He told me my cell phone was working with me, but I didn’t know how long it had been there. If you knew, that’s the scariest part,” she told Nightline.

Hughes is one of two victims in a class action lawsuit filed against Apple in California. The lawsuit accuses the tech company of negligence, quarantine break-in, and product liability, alleging AirTags were “the weapon of choice for stalkers and abusers.”

Apple told Nightline it could not comment on the ongoing lawsuit. Last February, the company issued the following statement: However, one instance of each is too many. ”

“AirTag is not designed to track people or other people’s property, but to help find personal items, and we condemn the abuse of our product as strongly as possible,” the statement said. .

One of the lawyers who filed the lawsuit, Gillian Wade, told “Nightline” that one of his clients had an AirTag under the wheel of his car, painted to match the color of his car. He said he found

“If you get a notification that an AirTag that isn’t yours is traveling with you, it’s delayed. So it won’t happen anytime soon,” she told Nightline.

While there are many AirTag users who say the device has helped them track down and recover lost valuables, Khan and other tech security watchdogs reiterate that the device carries significant risks.

“For me, the convenience of being able to track my package is not worth putting other people at risk of assault or stalking,” he said.

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