Google and Apple Collaborate on Bluetooth Tracker Stalking Prevention

Google and Apple Collaborate on Bluetooth Tracker Stalking Prevention
Discover how Google and Apple are collaborating to combat the misuse of Bluetooth trackers with a new industry specification aimed at enhancing privacy across iOS and Android platforms.

In a significant collaboration, Google and Apple are joining forces to enhance privacy and safety by addressing the misuse of Bluetooth trackers for unwanted tracking. This partnership aims to set a new industry standard that would offer cross-platform compatibility for tracking detection and alerts, ensuring users on both iOS and Android platforms are protected.

Background of the Collaboration

Bluetooth trackers like Apple’s AirTags and Tile have been beneficial for locating personal items such as keys and bags. However, the technology has also been exploited for unwanted tracking of individuals, raising serious privacy concerns. In response, Apple and Google have proposed an industry specification designed to curb these privacy invasions.

The Proposed Specification

This new specification, submitted as an Internet-Draft to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), outlines a framework for Bluetooth tracking devices. It aims to make these devices compliant with unauthorized tracking detection across different operating systems​​. The initiative has received backing from major players in the industry, such as Samsung, Tile, and others, who have agreed to support the draft specification and integrate these best practices into their products​​.

Features and Improvements

Apple has been proactive with features in its AirTag technology to prevent misuse. Recent updates have made these devices emit noises when separated from their owner to alert nearby individuals of their presence. Google, on its part, has committed to enhancing Android’s capabilities to detect and manage these trackers effectively​​.

Moreover, both companies are planning to finalize and implement the specification by the end of the year, after considering feedback from various stakeholders, including safety and advocacy groups​​.

Industry and Community Support

The collaboration has been well-received by advocacy groups, emphasizing the potential of this initiative to provide universal standards that protect all individuals from tracking abuses. Notable endorsements have come from organizations like the National Network to End Domestic Violence and the Center for Democracy & Technology, which have praised the effort for its potential to significantly reduce the misuse of tracking technology​.

By aligning their efforts, Apple and Google are taking critical steps towards creating a safer digital environment. This partnership not only reflects the tech giants’ commitment to user privacy but also sets a precedent for the industry to follow in addressing privacy concerns related to Bluetooth trackers.

About the author

Avatar photo

Shweta Bansal

Shweta, a tech journalist from New Delhi, specializes in AI and IOT. Her insightful articles, featured in leading tech publications, blend complex tech trends with engaging narratives, emphasizing the role of women in tech.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment