AirTag ghost alerts are being investigated at Apple

Since launching its small Bluetooth trackers, Apple has made strides to improve privacy and anti-harassment features. Arrived after its competitors, AirTags have been a great success thanks to advanced technology and a large network due to the billion iPhones in circulation. But sometimes, besides misuse, AirTags make mistakes. This is precisely what the wall street journal Bend over. A phenomenon that he describes as ghost alerts that “send iPhone users on a dahu hunt”.

Detecting AirTags in cabbage?

By default, iOS sends an alert when an unknown AirTag is detected near you. This alerts you to the possibility that someone is tracking your location and allows you to (attempt to) locate the AirTag and get law enforcement involved if necessary. The latest case involved a family on the loose at Disney World.

The report from our American colleagues, however, explains that “in recent weeks, some iPhone users have started to receive alerts, often in the middle of the night, for AirTags that may not have been near them at all. “. In this case, the affected user receives an alert from the application Locate stating “AirTag detected near you”, along with a map of the supposed location and path of the object tracker.

red header airtags

According to the report:

Ghost AirTag alert maps show a similar pattern: straight red lines from the user’s location. If an AirTag was moving (perhaps flying?) along these lines, it would cross the middle of city streets, pass through construction zones, and even pass through walls.

It is unclear whether this issue is widespread and whether it is a recent issue or one that has been around since the launch of AirTags.

An Apple spokesperson confirmed that the company is aware of the issue. He even recommends a back-up solution:

An Apple spokesperson said the alerts could be the result of an iPhone receiving area Wi-Fi signals that temporarily interfered with its location services. A potential fix would be to go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services, and toggle the switch on and off when Wi-Fi is on on the iPhone. He also said that in more densely populated areas, AirTags belonging to others nearby could inadvertently trigger unwanted alerts.

Should we be worried?

Again, Apple has done a lot to address harassment and security issues with AirTag. That being said, the Locate network does not yet seem mature enough, plagued by more or less annoying bugs.

Apple has promised additional improvements to its AirTags and tracking network by the end of the year. As of now, there’s no specific timeline for rolling out these changes, but Apple is focusing on nearby non-personal device detection logic. In the meantime, the little trackers continue to sell in the millions, especially with the 4-pack on sale.

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