Find My Friends Shows My Location in Another State

Discussion in 'iOS 12' started by southerndoc, Aug 6, 2019.

  1. southerndoc macrumors 65816

    southerndoc

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    I live in Georgia. Tonight my mother wanted to see how far my father was from home. She pulled up Find My Friends and it said I was in Texas.

    I opened Find My Friends and it said my location wasn't available, but said my parents were 900+ miles away.

    Has this ever happened to anyone? It makes me worry that somehow my iCloud account has been cloned. I doubt it's a SIM card cloning that would do it. I have 2FA turned on for my iCloud account and haven't had any suspicious activity.
     
  2. NoBoMac Moderator

    NoBoMac

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #2
    A couple of wild guesses...

    A lot of this is based on various location databases out there that are basically crowdsourced.

    Seen threads where on public wifi, depending on service they are using, registration, configured correctly etc, can pull up locations nowhere near to where you are. Have had that happen myself where a web site thinks I'm across the country.

    Or: if personal wifi, and moved, the database still has old location in place.

    Using a VPN? Again, server probably in far location, and grabbed from previously mentioned database?
     
  3. southerndoc thread starter macrumors 65816

    southerndoc

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    Not using a VPN. I was previously on hospital wifi where I work (about 7 miles from my house). At the time of the incident, I was on my wifi at home. Have lived in the same house for 8 years now.
     
  4. Beerstalker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Location:
    Peoria, IL
    #4
    How long did she let find my friends look for you before she saw that location? I believe then it first comes up it takes a rough guess, and often times can be way off.

    I think it kind of works like assisted GPS. With assisted GPS the phone looks at the location of the cell tower it is connected to and assumes your general location based on that, and then starts looking for the GPS satellites it should be able to see from that location to locate you with more accuracy. The more satellites it gets information from, the more accurate it knows your location.

    I believe it does kind of the same thing when you are attached to the internet over WiFi. It looks at the IP address you are attached to and assumes your rough location based on that. Then it starts looking for the GPS satellites. Locating by IP address can end up way off from where you actually are though. So I'm guessing that for some reason it thought the IP address you were attached to was located in Texas, so it marked that as your rough location. If she would have waited until it found your exact location it would have placed you at home.
     

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3 August 6, 2019