Android and iOS are getting ways to detect unwanted Bluetooth trackers

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Android and iOS will both have ways to detect, detect and disable unwanted Bluetooth trackers in future versions. Google and Apple have announced this. This should prevent the misuse of Bluetooth trackers for stalking.


Google and Apple have one draft of a specification for Bluetooth trackers posted online. That draft prescribes, among other things, that a Bluetooth tracker, such as an Apple AirTag, Tile or Samsung SmartTag, must have the option that non-owners can play a sound to find it. This only applies to small trackers. Trackers built into bicycles, for example, do not have to be able to do this.

Apple and Google are the initiators, but Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, eufy Security and Pebblebee have also expressed support for the upcoming standard, which is currently called ‘Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers’. Google and Apple are now collecting feedback and hope to release a final version by the end of this year.

The standard should prevent stalking by means of Bluetooth trackers. This is done, among other things, by having the operating system send a signal when someone else’s tracker is near a device for a while. The tracker can then be detected and disabled. It is not the first time that Google and Apple have jointly built a Bluetooth function in their operating systems. This also happened in 2020 for corona Bluetooth apps.

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