Tracking apps and devices come in handy for those who frequently lose or misplace their gadgets. However, this is not the case for a couple from Atlanta, whose home the Find My iPhone app keeps on wrongly sending people to.
In February 2015, Christina Lee and Michael Saba moved to a suburban home in Atlanta to start their life together. Within their first month, they were surprised to receive a knock on their door coming from an enraged family looking for a stolen iPhone.
After two months, the couple was confronted by a group of friends with the same problem. The situation persisted, with four incidences happening within just one month. Angry iPhone users have appeared outside of the couple's house, be it in the day, afternoon or night time.
"I'm sorry you came all this way," the couple usually say. "This happens a lot." In reality, the phones in demand are not there.
Most of the people believe the couple, but there are some who trust the app more, even claiming that Lee and Saba are lying.
Who can blame them? People nowadays place so much value on their phones that they go berserk once it goes missing. Saba says his biggest fear is being faced with someone violent or dangerous.
In June 2015, police officers went to the mystified house to look for a missing teenage girl. The police asked the couple to step out of the house for more than an hour as they decide whether to issue a warrant so they could search the house for the phone and the girl.
The missing phones have different carriers and the couple cannot decipher a common link between the missing gadgets.
Security analyst Ken Westin, who used to work for a device-tracking app firm, says this type of technology initially uses the phone's satellite-supplied GPS data. The technology then proceeds to look at cell towers where it last connected, then to WiFi fingerprints and finally to the IP address. For Westin, Saba and Lee's problem looks like a case of cell tower triangulation flaw.
Lee and Saba are left helpless because no third party is obviously at fault. The couple has already filed a complaint at the local police department but are yet to receive a feedback. In the hopes of finally ending their agony, they plan to contact the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and then the senate.
Find My iPhone is an iOS app that has helped a number of people find their missing phones and loved ones. In a recent incident, a woman was able to find the body of his murdered husband using the app.
Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns | Flickr