Apple AirTag Facilitates First Reported Stalking Case in Ahmedabad, India

Ahmedabad reports India's first AirTag stalking case, highlighting urgent calls for technological vigilance and legislative action

Apple AirTag Facilitates First Reported Stalking Case in Ahmedabad, India

Monday September 04, 2023,

3 min Read

In a concerning turn of events, the Ahmedabad cyber cell has uncovered India's inaugural case of stalking facilitated through Apple's AirTag technology. This innovation, typically utilised to recover lost objects, has unfortunately found its way into the realm of harassment and stalking, marking a grim milestone in the nation. Previously, several such cases were noted predominantly in the US and Europe.

A Tale of Fear and Vigilance

In May, an Ahmedabad woman started receiving unsettling notifications on her iPhone 13 Pro Max, indicating that an AirTag was "moving with her." Initially perplexed and gradually alarmed, the lady noted that these notifications were persistent during her commutes. Subsequently, her driver and daughter too reported similar alerts on their devices.

Taking decisive action in July, she approached the Ahmedabad Cyber Cell. With the aid of a car service station, she traced the AirTag concealed cunningly under the seat cover behind the driver's seat, adhered with a sticky substance. This discovery not only confirmed her fears but brought to light a chilling tale of stalking and invasion of privacy, spearheaded by her ex-partner, who apparently used this technology to spy on her and infringe on her privacy egregiously.

Legal Proceedings and a Call for Caution

As per the Deccan Herald, the suspect, identified as the victim’s former partner, had allegedly been tormenting her for an extended period. This incident underlines the critical need for stringent vigilance and legislative action against such technological misuse. The Ahmedabad police, led by ACP Ajit Rajyan, are gearing up to arrest the individual, who will face charges under IPC Section 354 D for stalking and Section 66E of the Information and Technology Act for breaching privacy.

This case not only signifies a breach of trust but also unveils the dark side of technological advancements, urging users to be cautious and vigilant.

Countermeasures and User Protection

In light of the increasing misuse of AirTags for stalking and harassment globally, Apple has reinforced its security measures in the Find My app. Users can now detect unauthorised AirTags easily, helping them avoid unwarranted tracking and harassment. These notifications can be activated on iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices running on iOS or iPadOS 14.5 or later versions, provided the necessary settings are appropriately configured. Apple has firmly condemned any malicious utilisation of their products, emphasising that the AirTag was conceived to assist users in locating personal belongings, not to facilitate stalking or privacy invasion.

This unsettling incident in Ahmedabad serves as a glaring testament to the misuse potential of technology, urging users and authorities alike to foster responsible usage and implement robust safeguards against abuse. It beckons a collective effort to curb technology-facilitated harassment, safeguarding the sanctity of personal space and privacy in the digital age.

In the face of burgeoning technological advancements, let this case stand as a stark reminder of the need to foster safety, awareness, and ethical use of technology, averting its perversion into a tool for harassment and abuse.

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