Google and Apple team up against location tracker stalking

Apple and Google have announced that updated iPhones and Android phones will now display alerts warning users of nearby wireless location tracking devices. This move comes in response to concerns about the potential misuse of devices like Apple's AirTag, which can be used to track lost or stolen objects but can also be used by criminals to track people.

Users with up-to-date software on their devices will receive a message informing them that a Bluetooth tracker is "found moving with you." They can then make the tracker play a sound to locate it and access instructions on how to disable it.

AirTags, introduced by Apple in 2021, have become popular for helping users locate lost items like keys or luggage. However, they have also been used for criminal purposes, such as tracking individuals without their consent. In response to these concerns, Apple and Google have worked together to integrate alerts and warnings into their operating systems to prevent unwanted tracking.

In addition to AirTags, there are many other Bluetooth trackers available on the market. Third-party companies are allowed to build their own devices, but they must adhere to Apple and Google's specifications, including the requirement for unwanted tracking alerts.

Apple and Google have stated that they are collaborating on creating a public industry standard for Bluetooth tracker devices. While the official standard is still in development, both companies have already implemented the alerts into their operating systems. These updates will be included in Apple's iOS 17.5 release and Android devices with version 6.0 or newer.

Overall, the efforts by Apple and Google to address the potential misuse of wireless tracking devices demonstrate a commitment to balancing convenience with privacy and security concerns. By implementing alerts and warnings, the companies aim to provide users with greater control over their personal data and ensure that these devices are used responsibly.


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