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2 women sue Apple in California over AirTag tracking

An Apple AirTag, designed to track and find personal belongings, in Washington, D.C., on May 4, 2021. Two women filed a lawsuit in California on Monday claiming they were stalked with the help of the device. File Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE
An Apple AirTag, designed to track and find personal belongings, in Washington, D.C., on May 4, 2021. Two women filed a lawsuit in California on Monday claiming they were stalked with the help of the device. File Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE

Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Two women sued Apple in California federal court on Monday charging that the tech company did not do enough to prevent them from being stalked with the use of its AirTags.

In the class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. Northern District Court of California on Monday, one alleged victim said she found her ex-husband left an AirTag in her child's backpack and once she disabled it she located a second one.

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In the second incident, Lauren Hughes claimed after ending a three-month relationship, her former companion harassed her with blocked numbers, fake social media profiles to follow her social media accounts and left threatening voicemails.

Hughes said after receiving an alert, she discovered a tracking AirTag inside the wheel well of one of her back tires.

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AirTags, which Apple rolled out in 2021, were designed to help Apple users find their misplaced tech devices. They can be purchased for as little as $29, connect to iPhones and iPads via Bluetooth technology, which can provide an approximate location if those devices are lost.

But AirTags quickly grew to be misused.

An investigation by the website Vice found in April that over an eight-month period in the largest metropolitan areas, women filed 150 police reports connected to AirTags.

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Apple said in February that it has been working with safety organizations and law enforcement to improve safety features and root out those who are using AirTags for tracking others.

"Law enforcement has shared their appreciation for assistance we've provided in helping them find the source of unwanted tracking," Apple said then.

"We've identified additional improvements we can make in the information we share and the educational resources we provide, and we will be taking action, including making updates to our law enforcement documentation."

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