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Expat in Dubai Sues Apple, Demands AirTag Tracking Data in Legal Battle

A British expatriate residing in Dubai has initiated legal proceedings against tech giant Apple, demanding disclosure of the identity of an AirTag owner. This move comes in the wake of allegations that his ex-wife illicitly utilized the tracking device to monitor his whereabouts surreptitiously.

The legal action was instigated subsequent to the gentleman's discovery of the AirTag concealed within a teddy bear belonging to his children. This revelation prompted the lodging of a criminal complaint against his former spouse for violating his privacy rights.

According to court documents, the 47-year-old plaintiff detected the Apple AirTag discreetly nestled inside the plush toy, a gift bestowed upon their daughters by his 41-year-old Belarusian ex-wife. Utilizing alerts from his iPhone, he managed to trace the device's signal, ultimately pinpointing his ex-wife's vehicle stationed in close proximity to his newly acquired residence—a location he had deliberately kept confidential following their divorce in July 2023, and subsequent custody ruling that favored him.

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While the ex-wife conceded to possessing an AirTag, purportedly employed for pet tracking purposes, she vehemently denied any knowledge regarding the AirTag discovered within the teddy bear, asserting ignorance regarding its insertion into the toy.

Despite entreaties, Apple's Dubai office refrained from divulging the identity of the AirTag's owner, prompting the commencement of civil proceedings at the Dubai Civil Court.

During recent court sessions, the plaintiff's legal representative underscored his client's enduring emotional distress and heightened security concerns stemming from the incident. Dr. Hasan Elhais, a legal consultant from Awatif Shoqi Advocates representing the plaintiff, voiced apprehensions concerning the nefarious exploitation of technology in familial disputes.

"This case underscores the profound ethical quandaries and emotional turmoil that can ensue from the malicious utilization of technology," Dr. Elhais remarked.

As part of their defense strategy, the legal team implored the court to compel Apple to furnish crucial information requisite for safeguarding the plaintiff's privacy rights. This includes comprehensive data pertaining to the implicated AirTag, the identity of its owner, and any associated accounts or URLs employed for unauthorized tracking or monitoring endeavors.

Citing extensive material and moral damages inflicted upon their client, impacting both his personal well-being and professional endeavors, the legal team emphasized the substantial toll exacted by the protracted legal ordeal. Dr. Elhais underscored the plaintiff's incapacitation in effectively managing his business affairs due to the distress, fear, and despondency occasioned by the circumstances.

As the legal battle continues to unfold, its ramifications serve as a poignant reminder of the intricate intersection between technology, privacy rights, and familial disputes.

May 16, 2024 2:33 p.m. 4297

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