Apple & Google working to limit misuse of Bluetooth tracking devices

  • Apple and Google have announced a partnership to set the specification and industry standard in the use of Bluetooth tracking devices like the AirTag.
  • The collaboration comes after several reports that Bluetooth tracking devices are being used to stalk users.
  • Other manufacturers like Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, eufy Security, and Pebblebee have noted an interest in working on industry standards.

Last year we reported on a rise in stalking and unwanted tracking of users via Bluetooth devices like the Apple AirTag.

It is an issue that companies like Apple have look to address by outlining new policies, terms of use, and repercussions should a user be found to be misusing its products, but now the company has teamed up with Google in order to set new industry standards when it comes to Bluetooth tracking devices.

“Today Apple and Google jointly submitted a proposed industry specification to help 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,” the companies explained in a press release.

It also looks like the companies are gaining interest from other manufacturers of such devices.

“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,” the pair added.

The companies say that the specification has been submitted as an Internet-Draft via the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), which is a leading standards development organisation in the technology industry.

Over the next three months, interested parties are invited and encouraged to review and comment regarding the draft.

“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,” the release concluded.

It remains to be seen how the proposed standards will address Bluetooth tracking devices already in the market, but it is at least promising to see that the likes of Apple and Google are taking responsibility for the technology they create, and trying to limit its misuse.


About Author


Related News