AirTags: Apple may be responsible for the operation of the devices

AirTags: Apple may be responsible for the operation of the devices

The AirTag they are tracking devices designed and marketed by Apple. They are small and compact, similar to a coin, and can be easily “paired” with objects such as wallets, bags or keys. Their function is to help users track down lost items or stolen, relying on Apple devices physically present nearby.

Based on Bluetooth technology, they can communicate with iPhone, iPad and Mac. When an AirTag is within range of one of these devices, it can send its location in real time to the owner, through the “Where is” platform of Apple.

Although AirTags are designed with the aim of facilitating the identification of “lost” objects, effectively making them “smart”, these devices have raised many concerns regarding possible improper use, for example by stalker.

Apple called to account for the functioning of its AirTags

In mid-October 2023, a series of complaints filed in various overseas courts turned into a real class action against Apple. In fact, many users complain of having suffered continuous stalking by other people, often in some way linked to the lives of the victims. Or that you have unknowingly handed over your daily movements to bad guys and criminals.

In fact, it has emerged that AirTags can also be exploited illicitly to monitor and follow other people. Because I am small and discreet, can be easily hidden inside a person’s personal items, such as bags or vehicles, without the victim being aware. These are behaviors that seriously damage privacy, which can also put the victim’s safety at risk.

In February 2022, Apple announced new measures to combat the use of its AirTags for stalking purposes and in May 2023 we published the news of the “alliance” between Google and Apple to detect AirTags in immediate vicinity promptly informing the user.

The question of producers’ responsibility

In mid-March 2024, District Judge Vince Chhabria (California, USA), ruled that the class action initiated in October last year deserves careful investigation. While some of the charges have been dismissed, three key claims remain in the trial, including whether negligence e responsibility of Apple compared to the AirTags placed on the market.

According to what can be seen from reading the text of the court’s decision, the prosecution maintains that the alleged serious shortcomings in the features of safety AirTags would have allowed harassers and criminals to use the device for malicious purposes. Also highlighted are the “inequalities” between the protections offered to users of Apple devices compared to those who own them terminali Android.

Apple, for its part, defended the design of the AirTag it said it implemented security measures innovative in the sector. The company also argued that it cannot be held responsible for misuse of the devices by third parties.

The controversy involving AirTags raises crucial questions regarding responsibility of companies in ensuring the safety of their products and protecting consumers from potential risks. The ongoing trial could have significant implications for the future of technology object tracking and lay the foundations for even more careful regulation.

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