Google, Apple Take Aim at Unwanted Device Tracking

Google and Apple announced this week that they have partnered up to create a new industry specification — Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers. Available to Android 6.0+ and iOS 17.5+, the spec was created with Google’s new Find My Device network in mind, which utilizes Bluetooth-powered trackers to pinpoint the location of items.

Here’s Google on what this means for both Android and iOS moving forward.

With this new capability, Android users will now get a “Tracker traveling 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.

As Google explains, should users come across this, they’ll be able to locate it and access instructions to disable it. Furthermore, tag producers like eufy, Motorola, and Pebblebee are committed to launching tags that are compatible with the spec.

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

I suppose this is one less announcement we’ll see at Google I/O.

// Google

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