Apple and Google are working together to curb AirTag stalking

Apple and Google have collaborated on a proposed industry specification intended to combat safety risks associated with AirTags and other Bluetooth-enabled tracking devices. The companies announced Tuesday that the new standard requires the implementation of “unauthorized tracking detection and alerts” across Android and iOS devices.

The proposed specification lists a number of best practices for makers of Bluetooth trackers, which should help prevent “misuse” of location trackers that put users at risk of stalking, harassment, and theft. As described in the document, Unwanted Tracking Detection should “detect and alert individuals” when a tracking device that is separated from its owner travels with them, and also provide instructions on how to find and disable the device.

Other companies that make similar trackers, including Tile, Chipolo, Eufy Security, Samsung, and Pebblebee, are already working with the proposed standard.

Since Apple’s AirTag was released in 2021, privacy advocates have expressed concerns about the device’s safety. last year, the edge Speaking from the National Network to End Domestic Violence was Erica Olsen, who said trackers had been a problem for years before AirTag was released. Apple responded by improving unknown AirTag alerts on iPhone and creating an app that scans for unwanted trackers on Android. Olsen says in today’s statement, “These new standards will reduce the opportunities for misuse of this technology and reduce the burden on survivors in detecting unwanted trackers. We are grateful for these efforts and look forward to continuing to work together to address spam tracking and abuse.”

“We built AirTag and the Find My Network with a proactive set of features to discourage unwanted tracking — a first in the industry — and continue to make improvements to help ensure the technology is used as intended,” said Ron Huang, Apple’s vice president of sensing and connectivity, as well. It came in a statement. “This new industry specification builds on AirTag’s protections and, through collaboration with Google, takes an important step forward to help combat unwanted tracking across iOS and Android.”

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