The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, generally referred to simply as “Coachella” is an annual festival held in Indio, California. People come from all over the country to listen to music on several stages, enjoy art exhibits, camp, and other recreational activities.
During the 2017 event, many festival-goers found that their cell phones were missing. Presumably, they had been stolen. The victims used their “find my phone” function (which are available on iDevices and Android) to locate the devices, eventually centering on attendee Reinaldo De Jesus Henao.
When the police arrived, they searched Henao and found more than 100 phones in his backpack. He was arrested on suspicion of grand theft and possession of stolen property.
This is exactly how the “find my phone” feature is supposed to work. The phones were stolen from the rightful owner, who were then able to locate them using the built-in features. But if those features can be used to track a thief, they may also be used to track you.
Be aware of your phone’s settings and features. Could someone access your Apple or Google account and track you that way? Are your pictures also recording location data? What does your phone tell someone that wants to find you?