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Apple Inc. has failed in its attempt to have a lawsuit dismissed that alleges its AirTag devices enable stalkers to track their victims.

US District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco ruled on Friday that three plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit had presented sufficient claims for negligence and product liability, while dismissing others.

The lawsuit, filed by about three dozen individuals, claims that Apple was aware of the risks associated with its AirTags and could be held legally responsible under California law when the tracking devices are used for malicious purposes.

In the surviving claims, the plaintiffs “allege that, when they were stalked, the problems with the AirTag’s safety features were substantial, and that those safety defects caused their injuries,” Chhabria wrote.

Apple argued that it had designed the AirTag with innovative safety features and should not be held accountable for misuse of the product. However, the judge allowed the three plaintiffs to pursue their claims, stating that it was too early to determine whether California law required Apple to do more to prevent stalkers from using AirTags effectively.

Apple has been accused of negligently releasing the AirTag despite warnings from advocacy groups and others that the product could be used for surveillance. The complaint states that with a low price of just $29, the AirTag has become the preferred tool for stalkers and abusers.

Although Apple developed a feature to alert users when an AirTag might be tracking them, the lawsuit claims that this and other safety measures are insufficient.

Tile Inc. is facing similar allegations regarding its tracking devices connected to Inc.’s Bluetooth network, which are said to lack adequate protections against stalking.

The case is Hughes v. Apple, Inc., 3:22-cv-07668, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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