Apple and Google team up to stop stalking Bluetooth trackers

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By Webdesk

Unexpected allies Apple and Google have joined forces to tackle stalking by Bluetooth trackers and propose a new industry standard that can alert people when an unknown tracker is following them.

The two tech giants announced their partnership on Tuesday, with the companies submitting a new draft industry specification(opens in a new tab) to standards development organization Internet Engineering Task Force(opens in a new tab). If implemented, the new specification would enable Bluetooth location tracking devices to work with unauthorized tracking detection tools on both iOS and Android.

So if an adversary slipped an AirTag into an Android user’s bag, their target would still be alerted to it via their phone’s unauthorized tracking alerts. Currently, Android users who are concerned about being secretly tracked via AirTag must download a special Apple app that can detect these devices.

This detection would also work with other Bluetooth trackers and other operating systems. While Google doesn’t currently have a smart tracker, leaks in January indicated one may be in development.


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Bluetooth tracker manufacturers such as Samsung, Tile and Pebblebee have expressed support for the proposal from Apple and Google, according to the statement from the two companies. The new standards were developed with feedback from such companies, as well as security and advocacy groups such as The National Network to End Domestic Violence and the Center for Democracy and Technology.

“Bluetooth trackers have created tremendous benefits for the user, but also carry the potential for unwanted tracking, which requires industry-wide action to fix,” said Dave Burke, Google vice president of engineering for Android, in a statement. the explanation.(opens in a new tab)

“This new industry specification builds on AirTag protections and, working with Google, represents a critical step forward in the fight against unwanted tracking on iOS and Android,” said Ron Huang, Apple’s vice president of Sensing and Connectivity.(opens in a new tab).

The Internet Engineering Task Force will accept feedback on the submission from Apple and Google for three months, and the proposal is expected to be implemented by the end of the year.

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