Google and Apple to Address Unwanted Tracking Issues
Major tech companies welcome industry participants and advocacy groups calls on a draft specification to alert users in the event of suspected unwanted tracking.
Apple and Google recently jointly submitted a proposed industry specification to combat the misuse of Bluetooth location-tracking devices for unwanted tracking. The first-of-its-kind specification will allow Bluetooth location-tracking devices to be compatible with unauthorized tracking detection and alerts across iOS and Android platforms.
Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, eufy Security, and Pebblebee have expressed support for the draft specification, which offers best practices and instructions for manufacturers, should they choose to build these capabilities into their products.
Apple launched AirTag to give users the peace of mind knowing where to find their most important items. “We built AirTag and the Find My network with a set of proactive features to discourage unwanted tracking — a first in the industry — and we continue to make improvements to help ensure the technology is being used as intended. This new industry specification builds upon the AirTag protections, and through collaboration with Google results in a critical step forward to help combat unwanted tracking across iOS and Android,” said Ron Huang, Apple’s vice president of Sensing and Connectivity as noted through the Apple official press release.
Dave Burke, Google’s vice president of Engineering for Android said that Android has an unwavering commitment to protect users, and will continue to develop strong safeguards and collaborate with the industry to help combat the misuse of Bluetooth tracking devices.
Interested parties are invited and encouraged to review and comment the submitted specifications of the presented Internet-Draft via Internet Engineering Task Force over the next three months. Following the comment period, Apple and Google will partner to address feedback, and will release a production implementation of the specification for unwanted tracking alerts by the end of 2023 that will then be supported in future versions of iOS and Android.