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Tech giants Apple, Google deliver support for unwanted tracking alerts in iOS and Android
Apple
Photo Courtesy: Apple website

Tech giants Apple, Google deliver support for unwanted tracking alerts in iOS and Android

| @indiablooms | 18 May 2024, 05:03 pm

Tech major Apple and Google have worked together to create an industry specification — Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers — for Bluetooth tracking devices that makes it possible to alert users across both iOS and Android if such a device is unknowingly being used to track them. 

This will help mitigate the misuse of devices designed to help keep track of belongings. Today Apple is implementing this capability in iOS 17.5, and Google is now launching this capability on Android 6.0+ devices.

With this new capability, users will now get an “[Item] Found Moving With You” alert on their device if an unknown Bluetooth tracking device is seen moving with them over time, regardless of the platform the device is paired with.

If a user gets such an alert on their iOS device, it means that someone else’s AirTag, Find My accessory, or other industry specification-compatible Bluetooth tracker is moving with them.

It’s possible the tracker is attached to an item the user is borrowing, but if not, iPhone can view the tracker’s identifier, have the tracker play a sound to help locate it, and access instructions to disable it.

Bluetooth tag manufacturers including Chipolo, eufy, Jio, Motorola, and Pebblebee have committed that future tags will be compatible.

AirTag and third-party Find My network accessories were designed from the beginning with industry-first privacy and safety protections, and Apple has remained committed to innovating and supplementing these protections to keep consumers safe.

This cross-platform collaboration — also an industry first, involving community and industry input — offers instructions and best practices for manufacturers, should they choose to build unwanted tracking alert capabilities into their products.

Apple and Google will continue to work with the Internet Engineering Task Force via the Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers working group to develop the official standard for this technology.

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