Apple and Google team up to combat AirTag stalking2023-05-02 17:31 by Daniela
Tags: Apple, AirTag
Apple and Google announced today that they were teaming up to combat those that misuse Bluetooth-tracking devices such as AirTags to stalk people.
The two tech giants have agreed on a set of standards for AirTag-like products that would enable automatic alerts on both iOS and Android devices, though the proposed device specs likely won't eliminate the threat of device-enabled stalking altogether.
Apple's AirTag is intended to help people find lost items such as keys by displaying an item's nearly real-time location inside an iPhone app. But there have been many reports about the $30 coin-sized device being used to stalk people since it went on sale in 2021.
"These new standards will minimize opportunities for abuse of this technology and decrease the burden on survivors in detecting unwanted trackers," Erica Olsen, the National Network to End Domestic Violence's senior director of its Safety Net Project, said in the press release published today. "We are grateful for these efforts and look forward to continuing to work together to address unwanted tracking and misuse."
Tuesday's announcement suggests that Android phones will also soon gain the ability to warn their users if they are being tracked by an AirTag. The change will also allow other lost-item trackers, such as those made by Samsung or Tile, to build similar iPhone and Android alert features.
Apple and Google said the features would be completed by the end of 2023 and then implemented "in future versions of iOS and Android."
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