iPhone users receive false notifications that they are being stalked
And to prevent iPhone users from falling victim to criminal AirTag users, they are warned when they are followed by someone else’s AirTags. That’s what happened recently at Disney World when a mother and daughter left the park and the daughter received a notification on her iPhone saying that she was being followed by someone else’s AirTag. Fortunately, nothing ever came of the incident, although it scared them both.
AirTags are designed to help consumers track items
What is happening more and more is that iPhone users get such terrifying warnings even when they are not followed at all. The news says some of these alerts come in the middle of the night and scare those who receive the notifications. In most cases, the rogue AirTags are not in the path of the affected iPhone users at all and can be the result of a bug or malfunction.
The false reports have “caused confusion and concern and sent recipients on a wild goose chase,” the report said. Wall Street Journal† And charts following these false AirTag warnings create patterns that are not realistic. These patterns show the erratic movements of these AirTags moving in nonsensical directions.
Ryan McClain, a 25-year-old marketer in Indianapolis, received a report one morning last month that he was being followed. His reaction was a combination of bewilderment, fear and concern. “It was a shock to my morning,” he said. “I thought, who would want to stalk me? Who would want to hurt me?” McClain and his fiancée searched in vain for the offending AirTags the next day.
Apple must eradicate bugs that scare users by sending them fake messages that they have been stalked
Toronto-based consumer researcher Marcus Geisler found the AirTags’ movement pattern odd. “The AirTag’s movement pattern on the map looked super weird,” Geisler said. “I thought my neighbor’s dog might have accidentally swallowed it,” he couldn’t find any rogue AirTags either.
Another iPhone user, 24-year-old Natalia Garcia, was notified that an “AirTag (was) moved”. She received the message after an evening in downtown Chicago. “It was scary,” Garcia said, “I checked my bag, looked around to make sure no one had put an AirTag on me,” she said. She tried to force the tracker to sound the alarm, but the Find My app only said “AirTag not reachable”.
So what should you do if you are bombarded with fake alerts? Should you turn off the notifications? Not all of them, says John DeCarlo, director of the criminal justice master’s program at the University of New Haven and former police chief in Branford, Connecticut. “If you turn off the notifications, you won’t get any benefits.”
If the false alerts are from a bug, it’s up to Apple to try and eradicate them to prevent users from feeling like an unseen stalker is constantly watching them, even if it’s not true at all.
It just goes to show how sad the world is when a device meant to help people find missing items becomes a scary product used to attack people who mind their own business.