New Technology used for Stalking
Apple AirTags are a helpful technology that's use is becoming mainstream. Unfortunately stories of their misuse also abound. As modern technology becomes more powerful and accessible, the conversation around the ethical use of those products gets more interesting.
AirTags are an Apple product that helps you find your belongings using location tracking. They are incredibly simple to use, making it easy for people to track things that don’t necessarily belong to them. There are a plethora of examples of people being tracked or stalked because someone has hidden an AirTag in their belongings.
In 2022, a man was murdered by an ex-partner who had allegedly used an AirTag to track his location. This year a man used an AirTag to track and kill someone who he suspected of theft. A class action lawsuit has been filed in California against Apple’s continued use of the dangerous product. The small size of the product makes it easy to be hidden on a person or their belongings. Apple implemented a feature where your phone alerts you of unknown AirTags moving with you, but only iPhone users are able to get this alert. Even if someone were to know that they were being tracked, the size of the device makes it hard to be located and removed by the victim. If the stalker is already in the victim’s life, for example, an ex-spouse, then it is difficult to prove that the AirTag is being used for stalking.
Because technology and our lives are so intertwined it can be hard to police things like this. There’s no inherent evil to a small circular device that helps people not lose their belongings, so it may never come off the market. This device is even incredibly useful in most cases! The rising normalcy of technology gives way to it being used for suspicious activity that may never go away. We have to ask ourselves, does the reward outweigh the cost?