Apple and Google Collaborate on Unwanted Tracking Alerts

Apple and Google Collaborate on Unwanted Tracking Alerts

Apple and Google have joined forces to combat unwanted tracking with a new industry specification called “Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers.”

This collaborative effort aims to alert users across both iOS and Android platforms if a Bluetooth tracking device is being used to track them without their consent.

The implementation of this specification comes as Apple introduces the capability in iOS 17.5, while Google launches it on Android 6.0+ devices. With this update, users will receive an alert on their devices if an unknown Bluetooth tracking device is detected moving with them over time, regardless of the platform it’s paired with.

For iOS users, this means receiving an alert labeled “[Item] Found Moving With You,” indicating that someone else’s AirTag, Find My accessory, or compatible Bluetooth tracker is in proximity. Users can then view the tracker’s identifier, prompt it to play a sound for easier locating, and access instructions to disable it if necessary.

Several Bluetooth tag manufacturers, including Chipolo, eufy, Jio, Motorola, and Pebblebee, have pledged to ensure compatibility with this new capability in their future products. This move underscores Apple’s commitment to enhancing privacy and safety features for its consumers.

Moreover, this cross-platform collaboration, which involved community and industry input, sets a precedent in the industry. Apple and Google are also working with the Internet Engineering Task Force to develop an official standard for this technology, further solidifying their dedication to addressing privacy concerns in the digital age.

By providing instructions and best practices for manufacturers, Apple and Google aim to encourage the integration of unwanted tracking alert capabilities into Bluetooth tracking devices, thus empowering users to better protect their privacy and security.