Google and Apple Team Up to Stop Unwanted Tracking of People

Apple AirTag

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The idea of a tracking device like the AirTag being used to pinpoint the location of your missing luggage or purse or keys is a brilliant one. The fact that we are in a position today to locate lost or stolen items with a tiny little out-of-sight gadget shows how far the world of technology has come. Unfortunately, whenever we get cool new tech, bad actors show up and try to spoil the fun.

Location-tracking devices are often misused for unwanted tracking of people. We’re talking about things like stalking or survivors of domestic violence being followed by abusers. Really horrible people with bad intentions use Bluetooth tracking devices for all of the wrong reasons.

Google and Apple announced today that they want to make a universal specification for these types of devices to try and stop unwanted tracking of people through Bluetooth location-tracking devices.

This specification would work across both iOS and Android, so that no matter the device or OS, it could detect unauthorized tracking. The draft specification offers best practices and instructions for device makers to build out capabilities into products.

Beyond Google and Apple, companies like Samsung, Tile, Eufy, and Pebblebee have all “expressed” support for this draft specification. Google and Apple are also taking feedback from various safety and advocacy groups.

For the next 3 months, they’ll take feedback, will then address feedback, and then hope to release a production implementation of the spec by the end of 2023. From there, Google and Apple will build in support for it through Android and iOS.

// Google Security Blog



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