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Author Topic: The app 'Find My Phone' 'for Apple is harmfull.  (Read 889 times)

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Geek-9pm

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The app 'Find My Phone' 'for Apple is harmfull.
« on: February 18, 2019, 06:00:26 PM »
This is  dictation.

This is a negative report about a specific Apple application. 'Find My Phone'

Recently I had a bad experience with an application that is called 'Find My Phone' and is available on the Apple store. Often this program is used to help people locate an iPhone when it has been misplaced. There are also other programs that function the same way. This post is about a bad experience specific to that particular application. I do not know if the problem is present on other applications that serve the same purpose.
And by the way, I have both Apple and android products as well as mine Windows computer. I do not claim to be an expert on Apple products, I just use them.
I am not going to go into a detailed report about what happened to me. Except to say that it was disturbing to me and to my family what happened. Apparently this experience has been duplicated by others and I do not mean just once or twice. The problem has been known for many years yet they never has, to my knowledge, then a credible explanation as to why this particular application malfunctions. But it does now function. It does so in a way that could be harmless or potentially dangerous.
Rather than trying to analyze the technical aspects, but they. Just imagine
got some brightly colored knitting yarn and decided to tie it onto things that I lose. I could tie on a 3 foot piece of yarn on my eyeglasses. I could tie a piece of yarn onto my wallet. I might time. Sometimes metaphors can be used to express an idea without getting stuck in the technicalities.
The let me say that I am a person that easily loses things. Even inside my own bedroom or my own office area. The one of the ways that I try to help myself is to put little colored tags on things or wrap little bit so wire around things or stick a piece of paper on something that I want to notice. I have poor eyesight and often I cannot find things because the color just blends into the background.
Let's just say that I started to put colored yarn on things. I would put a bright yellow piece of yarn on my eyeglasses, about 3 feet long. Next, I would put a bright green piece of yarn on my wallet, again about 3 foot long. And I might do the same for my shoes. And of course, I would do it with my iPhone and my android. Would that be a logical choice or person who has trouble finding things?
Please understand that this is only a metaphor. I don't really do that. Except sometimes. Obviously having strings of yarn that are hanging around could be dangerous. I could step on something and trip over. Or the Kitty cat could come along and pull it down to the floor and break it . So, obviously, it would be very dangerous to depend on a piece of colored yarn to help me find a lost object.
Now then, back to topic. Using a piece of software that has been untested and unproven is potentially dangerous if you use it for something very important. And that rule does apply in the case of find my phone. People are using the find my phone app for serious things. So serious, that there is the potential of a loss of property and even bodily harm because of the use of such unreliable software. Now what makes me very angry is there never has been any kind of retraction, this claim are or warning about the danger of using such an unreliable program.
Now if the program were to be used just as a game or a novelty on amusement or a party trick, that would be understandable. But people are using it for very serious things. They expected to be used for finding a very expensive piece of computer equipment, such as a high-end laptop. That is not a good idea. First of all, you should never leave an expensive laptop in some place where could be easily lost or stolen. That is just stupid. Then using an unreliable program to try to locate a missing laptop is very foolish. What are you going to do you find the laptop is in somebody else's house? How do you really know what's inside their house?
I am not going to give links about this. Four years this has been reported on the Internet and nobody's ever done anything about it. So apparently, Apple and the people who write such apps, don't really care. But I am posting this here so you know. To not rely on the find my phone app to locate a stolen laptop.. As for your phone, if you are a person that easily loses things, only used cheap throwaway phones. Stop using expensive phones.

If this is of any interest to you I could supply you a bunch of links about horror stories people have using the mentioned application. I have not find any such course stories relating to sailor applications, the only one that comes up is called 'Find My Phone'.

End dictation. There may be errors that I can not spot.

BC_Programmer


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Re: The app 'Find My Phone' 'for Apple is harmfull.
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2019, 06:36:50 PM »
"Find my Phone" is for Android phones from Google. "Find my iPhone" is the Apple App from Apple for Apple phones.

Quote
They expected to be used for finding a very expensive piece of computer equipment, such as a high-end laptop.

People are not using Find my *Phone* and Find my *iPhone* to find a high end laptop, as those work exclusively with Android and Apple phones and tablets. (For Apple, they have a *separate* "Find My Mac" service). So now we know you don't even understand what the apps do or how they work. That's probably why you had to provide a useless analogy. "Find my Phone" and "Find my IPhone" I might add, are similar useless at locating a missing pet.

"Find my Phone" and "Find my iPhone" allow you to use the Phone's GPS to keep track of where it is, and you can see a general area of where it is when you lose it. Can be very useful if you've misplaced it during say a trip and it could have been misplaced in any number of places you had been. The phone(s) can also be locked remotely, which means if it was stolen your private data cannot be accessed. It can also take pictures using the phone's camera.

If the phone is stolen, rather than simply misplaced, then you can track where it goes. As far as actually recovering the phone, having GPS tracking/location information will typically be enough to encourage local police to assist in recovery. Since most thefts are thefts of opportunity, the appearance of police with you has a substantially better chance of them returning it, usually with some barely plausible but not easily disprovable story like "Oh I was just holding it for you".

The instances where the feature is less useful are the criminals who know what they are doing. The Find my iPhone and Find my Phone services only work if the phone is turned on and has an Internet connection. Removing the SIM card and not connecting the phone to the Internet, and then resetting it, is enough to evade the utility. However those are actually far less common.

Quote
First of all, you should never leave an expensive laptop in some place where could be easily lost or stolen. That is just stupid.
Ahh of course. That's theft solved! Similarly, one can avoid being murdered if you don't let people kill you.
I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

Geek-9pm

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Re: The app 'Find My Phone' 'for Apple is harmfull.
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2019, 07:44:14 PM »
Would  you use TNT to rid your house of rodents?

My point is that i dotes not work.
It does not do what  is needed in a safe way.

My rant is about the Apple app.
Find My iPhone
and
Find My Phone
Sound the same.


BC_Programmer


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Re: The app 'Find My Phone' 'for Apple is harmfull.
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2019, 08:44:59 PM »
Would  you use TNT to rid your house of rodents?
Of course not, however, you've not explained how your analogies are in any way relevant to the App/utilities in question.

Quote
My point is that I dotes not work.
Then your point is wrong, as it functions as intended for all the problem scenarios it was designed for.

Quote
It does not do what  is needed in a safe way.
What does it do that is unsafe and what is the safe way that it should be doing it?
I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

Geek-9pm

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Re: The app 'Find My Phone' 'for Apple is harmfull.
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2019, 10:49:48 PM »
Quote
Then your point is wrong, as it functions as intended for all the problem scenarios it was designed for.
Does that include legal advice on current law about stolen goods?
Does it make possible legal recovery of stolen goods?
Ca nit protect a vigilant owner from a hostile thief?

At best the software could be part of a plan approved by local police.

I read the Apple documentation and found no help on howto recovery a stolen laptop.
https://support.apple.com/kb/ph2698?locale=en_US

In fact, it is hard to prove laptop ownership. You can not just go up to a house and walk in and find your laptop. You, not the thief will spend the night in jail.

This article was published a few months ago.  I should have been 8 years ago.

Quote
Report your lost or stolen device to local law enforcement. Law enforcement might request the serial number of your device. Find your device serial number.
You also need to read this:
Q. stolen iphone cops won't go to address
Quote
Sorry, but itís been posted here before. Police simply donít consider a find my iPhone hit just cause to go to someoneís home, and no court will issue a warrant based on just that anyway, so theyíd not be able to go in or do anything. The location is considered approximate, and tells nothing about whom there may actually posses the device giving the location data.
The GPS system can not identify the enemy.  8)




BC_Programmer


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Re: The app 'Find My Phone' 'for Apple is harmfull.
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2019, 12:00:31 AM »
Does that include legal advice on current law about stolen goods?

Does part of the function of "find my iphone" include legal advice on current law regarding stolen goods? No. That doesn't even make any sense.

Quote
Does it make possible legal recovery of stolen goods?

Yes. I quite literally stated as much in my previous post.

Quote
Can it protect a vigilant owner from a hostile thief?

As I mentioned, if a "hostile thief" is somebody who has a good idea how to circumvent the technology than no, it doesn't offer much protection.

If a phone is lost, "Find my iPhone" can be used to find it if it was misplaced.  That can be particularly useful if one doesn't notice it is missing for a while- it could have easily been misplaced in any number of places.

Quote
I read the Apple documentation and found no help on howto recovery a stolen laptop.
https://support.apple.com/kb/ph2698?locale=en_US

You are looking at the documentation for how to use the software.

From https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT204756

"If you believe that your Mac was stolen, contact your local law enforcement."

From https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT201472

"Report your lost or stolen device to local law enforcement. Law enforcement might request the serial number of your device. Find your device serial number."

 
Quote
In fact, it is hard to prove laptop ownership. You can not just go up to a house and walk in and find your laptop. You, not the thief will spend the night in jail.
Alright? I never stated otherwise.

As I noted, and you will probably ignore again, if the device is simply lost, and not stolen, the software can be used to find where it is.

When iPhones and laptops get stolen, it's usually a crime of opportunity, without much sophisticated planning. Somebody with loose morals sees an opportunity, like a iPhone or laptop that is unattended and swipes it. The appearance of the owner with confident claims that "they know they have it" is often enough for them to go "oh you misunderstand, I saw it was left alone and I kept it safe!" and they return it.

Oftentimes local law enforcement will happily help by merely being present- That can often be enough to make the thief capitulate. (This isn't always the case, and there are plenty of examples of both). The results of the App itself are evidence but it is not enough on it's own. If the thief answers the door with the stolen phone in their hand which can be made to make sounds through the "Find my iPhone" App by you then that could very well meet the criteria- Not to mention a thief stupid enough to answer the door with something they just stole in their hand isn't likely to have a full grasp of the law regarding this situation.

It's much less useful against the far less common thief who actually knows how to "protect" themselves to prevent you from being able to do anything. In those situations of course there isn't much you or law enforcement can do. the granularity of the GPS is not enough to count as probable cause for any sort of search. But that happens far less often, and such thieves are usually looking to steal and then resell the product to make money, and a Phone or laptop that was connected up with the "Find my iPhone" and "Find my Mac" feature becomes mostly worthless for that. An iPhone can be locked remotely. It actually turns out that you cannot actually forcibly reset or unlock it either- the icloud lock has to be released first. Aside from securing your personal data, That makes the phones worthless to them- Certainly far more worthless than a phone that doesn't have "find my iPhone" prepared on it, which can be fairly effortlessly reset and then resold on eBay.
I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

camerongray



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Re: The app 'Find My Phone' 'for Apple is harmfull.
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2019, 04:01:46 AM »
Struggling to see what the issue is here, the app isn't designed for people to track down thieves of stolen devices and to attempt to get the device back themselves.  If people are using it for that then it's hardly the fault of the app.

I've used the Android device locator many times, even for something as simple as me going out somewhere and realising I don't have my phone, it's been great for the peace of mind to be able to check that I have in fact just left it at home and not dropped it en route.

It has already saved me before when I was in university and my phone must have fallen out my pocket in a lecture and got caught in the folding seat. I only noticed that I didn't have it about an hour after I'd left the lecture by which point I'd already gone for lunch, hung around with others and wandered all over the campus in and out of different buildings.  Realistically I could have dropped my phone in any of those locations however I was able to run to a PC and locate the exact building that the phone was in.  I was then able to call security to let me into the building where I set off an alarm on the phone to allow me to find it.

That's not the first time either, back in high school I must have left my phone sitting on a desk and only realised later that night when I was back at home.  I stupidly didn't have a device locator app installed (back then it wasn't built into the OS, think this was back in the days when I was running Android 2.2 "Froyo") but I was able to use "Plan B" from Lookout which I was able to install remotely and get the device's location which showed that it was somewhere around the area of the school office.  Turns out that it hadn't been stolen and someone had handed it in to lost property.

It's also not just about the ability to locate the device.  With Android Device Manager I can also lock the device down to require my Google Account to unlock while displaying a message on the screen (such as with my contact details) or if it comes to it and I find the device has been stolen, I can at least remotely wipe it to clear off any sensitive data.

Geek-9pm

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Re: The app 'Find My Phone' 'for Apple is harmfull.
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2019, 04:22:29 PM »
camerongray,
Thank you. Your post helps balance this topic. As you said, the app was not designed to catch criminals. Still, in some cases, it has done that.

My experience was very negative to the extreme. Two policemen came to my door and stated pounding the front door at 2 am in the morning. They claimed I was holding a stolen Apple laptop on my property.. That was not true. The scenario became tense.  They insisted to going over all of my halt acre annoying other three other family members living on the back of my property.

The laptop was never found and we never heard anymore about it. No explanation. They said the app was 'Find My Phone'**  and did not provided enough detail to allow me to find out what was going on. And they had guns.

** In California English 'Find My Phone' and 'Find My iPhone' are acoustically equal.
Thant is why I call it by what I heard. The also said an 'Apple Laptop'. I have no idea what an Apple laptop is. Anyway, no strange device has shown up on my router. All devices found in the router's list  are things that belong to our family.

My gut feeling is to blame the app, not my Comcast router. But I might be wrong. I wasted half an hour trying to speak with Comcast during business hours. Is that evidence that Comcast does not want to address this issue?  :P
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 04:35:50 PM by Geek-9pm »

BC_Programmer


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Re: The app 'Find My Phone' 'for Apple is harmfull.
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2019, 05:21:20 PM »
What does comcast have to do with your story?
I was trying to dereference Null Pointers before it was cool.

Geek-9pm

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Re: The app 'Find My Phone' 'for Apple is harmfull.
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2019, 08:53:18 PM »
BC, I will answer the question. But first...
Quote
Does the MacBook Pro have a GPS chip inside of it?

Ranvijay Yadav, Ph.D Doctor of Philosophy Degrees & Remote Sensing, Madan Mohan Malaviya University of Technology (2017)
Answered Jun 12 2018
Sorry, MacBook Pro doesn't have any GPS chips.
However, , you can locate the location of your MacBook pretty easily with the Wi-Fi.
I've tried Find my Mac with the iCloud and the locating service is pretty accurate.
..........
Steven Klein, I've been supporting MacBook users for 10+ years.
Answered Sep 26, 2017 ∑ Author has 807 answers and 976.6k answer views
No, no model of Mac has ever shipped with a GPS chip.
Location services on Macs determine use Wi-Fi hotspot geolocation. Itís not as good as GPS, but is good enough for most uses.
https://www.quora.com/Does-the-MacBook-Pro-have-a-GPS-chip-inside-of-it

The Comcast router gives out misleading information. This was considered before on other sites. The router has a 'virtual Wi-Fi' that appears to be a public hot spot. It gives out bad information about the location of any device that uses the Wi-Fi for location. Don't get me started on that topic.

I called Comcast (AKA Xfinity) and made a deal to upgrade me and shut off  wireless for everybody. I think this is the end of the story.  :)

Geek-9pm

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Re: The app 'Find My Phone' 'for Apple is harmfull.
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2019, 06:27:51 PM »
More detail.
Comcast and Xfinity are the same.
One name is mostly for cable TV, the other for Internet services.
My Comcast router can also have a 'virtual wireless'  gateway for guests. Only Comcast has control over this.It has been ranted elsewhere. One would think con tarty to common law. In effect, they have a lemonade stand on my front lawn.

I talked at length to a service representative. Now the thing does not participate in the Xnfinity stuff. Below is a screen shot.

I am CASA-4965 at about  -25 db and the Xfinity thing is down at -82 db. That means some body else is hosting the thing. But not me anymore.

I am waiting to serif the cops go to one of the neighbors and baton the door at 2 AM in the morning. Just making a jest. It is not funny at all.  :(