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May 19, 2024

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Legal Battle Over AirTag Tracking: Expat Seeks Disclosure, Cites Damage

Published in: Khaleej Times | Zawya | MSN | Fresh Daily Entertainment | The Filipino Magazine

A British expatriate has filed a civil lawsuit demanding the tech giant disclose the identity of an AirTag owner, following allegations that his ex-wife used the device to secretly track his location.

The case was filed after the man discovered the device hidden in his child’s toy, leading to a criminal report against the woman for breaching privacy.

The 47-year-old man said in court records that he detected an Apple AirTag concealed inside a teddy bear which his Belarusian ex-wife, 41, gave their daughters.

Alerts from his iPhone helped him find the device, which led him to his ex-wife parked outside his new residence — a location he had kept confidential following their divorce in July 2023 and subsequent custody ruling favouring him.

The ex-wife admitted to owning an AirTag to track pets, but denied knowing about the AirTag found in the teddy bear and claimed she was unaware how the device was inserted in the toy.

Despite a request, the Apple office in Dubai did not disclose the identity of its tracking device user.

This led to the civil case at Dubai Civil Court.

During court hearings last month, the man’s lawyer argued their client has suffered from emotional distress and security issues because of the incident.

Legal consultant Dr Hasan Elhais from Awatif Shoqi Advocates, representing the man, expressed concerns about the misuse of technology in family disputes.

“This case highlights the profound ethical concerns and emotional toll technology can inflict when used maliciously,” Dr Elhais said.

“As part of our defence argument, we are requesting the court to compel Apple to disclose the information that is crucial to safeguarding my client’s privacy rights.”

The requested information includes all data related to the AirTag in question, the owner's identity and any linked accounts or URLs that might have been used to track or monitor the man without his consent.

They argued that the incident has resulted in substantial material and moral damages to their client, impacting his personal well-being and professional life.

They said he was also faced by financial burdens due to the prolonged legal battle.

“His distress, fear and sadness have prevented him from properly running his company,” said Dr Elhais in the defence argument.

The case is still ongoing.

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