Apple, Google Working Together to Curb Unwanted Tracking of Users by Bluetooth Devices Like AirTags

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Alphabet-owned Google and Apple said on Tuesday they were working together to curb unwanted tracking of people by Bluetooth devices such as AirTags used for finding lost items.

The companies together have submitted a draft with specifications that will require all Bluetooth location-tracking devices to alert users of any unauthorized tracking on both iOS and Android devices.

Feedback from device manufacturers as well as various safety and advocacy groups has been integrated into the specifications, the companies said, adding that have support from companies such as Samsung Electronics and consumer electronics company Tile.

Since the launch of AirTags, privacy experts and law enforcement have said some people use it for criminal or malicious purposes.

AirTags are intended to be slipped into or attached to keys, wallets, backpacks and other items so people can find them when they are lost.

In an effort to boost privacy, Apple in 2021 had launched an Android detector app to help users scan nearby AirTags or other similar item trackers that might be travelling with them without their knowledge.

Earlier in 2020, Apple and Google also said they would ban the use of location tracking in apps that use a contact tracing system meant to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

© Thomson Reuters 2023


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