Atlanta, GA — It’s a mystery that has the attention of tech experts around the world. It all centers around the “Find my iPhone” app, that keeps leading people to an Atlanta home.
No one knows why, but the couple who lives there is determined to figure it out.
Life took an interesting turn for Christina Lee and Michael Saba when they moved into this southwest Atlanta home.
“We are still pretty much just as in the dark as when we began unfortunately,” said Saba.
They’ve lived in their home for about a year and more than once a month someone stops by looking for a missing phone and sometimes a missing person.
“We have gotten into the habit of asking what app did you use, what phone are you looking for,” said Lee.
About two weeks ago, in the middle of the night, Saba answered the door to a group of angry young men.
“They just start immediately yelling, screaming in my face like, ‘where is he where is where is he,'” said Saba.
Because it happened so many times before, Saba knew exactly what led the group to his home, but worried this time things would turn violent.
“My first thought was, ‘oh my gosh, this is everything I have always been afraid of,” said Saba.
Fortunately his response quickly calmed them down.
“I went out there immediately with, ‘hey guys, I think I know what is going on here.’ I directly asked them before they could say anything, ‘did you come here because of a find my phone?'” said Saba.
It had happened at least a dozen times before, starting shortly after the couple moved in. One time a police officer detained them for a hour and a half during the search for a missing girl.
‘Until the parents of that child refreshed the app and the location pointed them somewhere else, that they were like ‘OK, we can leave now,'” said Lee.
For at least six months now they’ve been trying to figure out why random strangers and police officers have been led to their home by the phone tracking app.
“There’s all these different ways – there is WiFi tracking, there is cell tower tracking there is GPS satellite tracking, there is all sorts of different ways you can do this, so many different moving parts. It is incredibly difficult to figure out,” said Saba.
They’ve asked for help, but all they’ve found is the run around.
“We have checked in with the FCC, I looked at the people who own the nearest cell towers,” said Saba. “Nobody wants to take responsibility for this. Everywhere we turn, whether it is law enforcement a government entity or the corporations themselves, all of them shrug and say this isn’t our problem,” said Saba.
But it is a problem for them and one that likely won’t go away.
“Moving would feel like quitting at this point, clearly I hate to feel like I am subject to forces that are totally out of my control,” said Saba.
While they continue to search for an answer, they are sharing their story as a cautionary tale.
“We put our trust in technology and we just assume, well my phone is telling me this thing. It’s got fancy location tracking software, it must be true,” said Saba. “How accurate is it really? Like is law enforcement, the courts are they making major legal binding decisions behind something that clearly has a margin of error.”
While the couple has tried reaching out to cell phone companies, find my iPhone developers, cell phone tower owners, the FCC and law enforcement with no luck, they now have a new hope.
Last week a tech blog profiled their problem and tech experts around the globe are weighing in.
Some said their wireless router may have been hacked, so the couple has ordered a new one.
Others said it could a bigger problem – a faulty cell phone tower in the area. That’s something the couple may not be able to do much about.