Apple AirTag is one of the few trackers in the market which come with privacy features to alert users when unknown trackers are traveling with them. However, a new report by Wall Street Journal claims that some iPhone users are getting “phantom AirTag alerts” that send iPhone users on “wild goose chases”.
Apple suggests a temporary fix for phantom AirTag alerts
Integrated with the Find My app, an AirTag features privacy alerts to prevent stalking by automatically detecting unknown trackers, sending an alert, and displaying its location on the app.
According to the report, some iPhone users are getting “AirTag detected near you” alerts and its location is displayed on the Find My app.
The maps on phantom AirTag alerts share a similar pattern: straight red lines radiating out from the user’s location. If an AirTag were in motion (perhaps flying?) along these paths, it would be crossing in the middle of city streets, passing through construction zones, even penetrating walls.
Although it is not clear how many iPhone users are affected by phantom alerts, Apple has acknowledged the issue and has suggested a temporary fix. In a statement, the company’s spokesperson said that the issue might be caused by WiFi signals and affected users should disable the Location Services feature on their iPhone to resolve the issue.
An Apple spokesman said that such alerts could have resulted from an iPhone receiving area Wi-Fi signals that temporarily confused its location services. A potential fix would be to go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services, and toggle the switch off and on while Wi-Fi is enabled on the iPhone. He also said that in more densely populated areas, AirTags owned by others nearby could inadvertently trigger unwanted alerts.