Google and Apple Are Making AirTags Stalker Free Soon


AirTags have proven to be a game-changer in locating our lost items, from luggage and keys to even keeping tabs on our furry friends. However, like any technological marvel, they’ve raised concerns about potential misuse, particularly when it comes to unauthorized tracking of people. The ease with which an AirTag can be surreptitiously placed in someone’s belongings and used for stalking has sparked valid worries.

Apple did respond to these concerns by introducing a feature that detects unknown AirTags moving along with you, but there’s a catch—it only works if you’re sporting an Apple iPhone. Meanwhile, the Bluetooth tracking landscape is diverse, with numerous devices slipping under the radar of Apple’s detection system, leaving a substantial gap for potential stalkers.

Enter a surprising alliance between Google and Apple, announced at Google I/O 2023. The tech giants pledged to collaborate on establishing an industry-wide standard to counter unwanted tracking via Bluetooth tags, irrespective of whether you’re wielding an Android or an iOS device. A slew of companies, including Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, eufy Security, and Pebblebee, joined this initiative, promising a united front against invasive tracking practices.

Excitement spread like wildfire, but then came a period of silence, leaving many wondering if the proposed solution was just a fleeting promise. Recently, tech journalist Mishaal Rahman unearthed a glimmer of hope, revealing that the first version of the ‘Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers’ specification has been uploaded to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). According to Rahman, Apple seems to be biding its time, waiting for the finalization of this specification before implementing unwanted tracker alerts in iOS. Meanwhile, Google is keeping its Find My Device Network on Android in the wings until Apple takes the plunge.

While the exact rollout date remains uncertain, there’s optimism that 2024 could usher in a new era of enhanced privacy concerning our Bluetooth trackers. The prospect of a standardized approach across platforms promises a more secure and controlled environment, putting an end to the cat-and-mouse game of unwanted tracking.