Android and iOS are getting ways to track down unwanted Bluetooth trackers

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Android and iOS will both get ways to detect, detect and disable unwanted Bluetooth trackers in future versions. This has been announced by Google and Apple. This should prevent abuse of bluetooth trackers for stalking.


Google and Apple have one draft of a specification for bluetooth trackers put 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. That only applies to small trackers. Trackers built into bicycles, for example, do not have to be able to do that.

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 come up with a final version by the end of this year.

The standard must prevent stalking by means of Bluetooth trackers. This is done, among other things, by having the operating system give a signal if a tracker from someone else has been in the vicinity of a device for a while. The tracker can then be detected and switched off. It is not the first time that Google and Apple have built a Bluetooth function in their operating systems together. This also happened in 2020 for corona bluetooth apps.

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