Apple’s AirTags are sending out “phantom” alerts confusing iPhone users, a new Wall Street Journal report alleges.
Launched last year, the AirTags feature anti-stalking measures designed to alert users when an unknown AirTag is detected on their person for an extended period in an attempt to discourage AirTags from being used to track people without consent.
The report said these false alerts generally occured in the middle of the night and had started popping up in recent weeks. When receiving an unknown AirTag alert, a person is supposed to see an accompanying map showing where and how long the AirTag was detected. These false alarms, on the other hand, are accompanied by maps depicting straight lines radiating from a person’s location.
It is, however, still unclear how prevalent this false alert is. There are also other false alarms a person might experience. While testing the safety features, users also found their own AirTag stalking them, reporting their experience on Reddit and social media. Other users have reported their AirPods triggering confusing alerts triggered — an issue that the tech behemoth addressed in a recent update to differentiate between alerts triggered by various Apple accessories.
In the Wall Street Journal report, users alleged that the alerts put them on edge, especially particularly when they were unable to find any AirTag on their person.
Following multiple reports of stalking this year, Apple announced in February that it intended to make unknown AirTags alert users sooner and to emphasise louder tones. Apple is rolling out an AirTags update for the latter.
At that time, the Cupertino-based tech giant said it condemned malicious uses of AirTag and added that it was working with law enforcement to resolve all AirTag-related requests. Apple also planned to send simultaneous notifications to iPhones when an AirTag made a sound alert the first time.