Apple, Google Announce Unwanted Bluetooth Tracking Prevention Collaboration: What You Need to Know

Zinger Key Points
  • Apple and Alphabet announced a collaboration for operating system-level support for unwanted tracker alerts.
  • Previous attempts at malicious activity notifications received poor reviews from users for lack of effective cross-system support.

Tech giants Apple Inc AAPL and Alphabet Inc GOOGL are collaborating to support alerts for unwanted Bluetooth tracking device recognition across operating systems.

What Happened: The announcement details operating system-level support for unwanted tracker notifications across Apple and Android devices with iOS 17.5 and Android 6.0+.

Users will receive an “Item Found Moving With You” alert if the device detects a Bluetooth device moving with them over time. Competitors Chipolo, Anker, Jio, Motorola, and Pebblebee have pledged to offer similar support on future devices.

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Why it Matters: The popularity of devices such as the AirTag propelled Bluetooth tracking devices to become a billion-dollar industry.

The intended purpose of Bluetooth trackers is to easily locate personal items. In January 2023, AirTags were found among the belongings of third parties, ostensibly as a means of stalking by malicious actors.

Infrastructure was in place for Apple users to be alerted that an AirTag was traveling with them. But the same support was not provided for Android users.

In May 2023, iPhone maker Apple and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, announced an initiative to provide cross-platform support for unwanted device recognition.

Apple launched the app Tracker Detect for Android users to detect malicious tracking activity. The app received poor reviews. Users cited several flaws (i.e., a lack of operating system-level support) on the platform.

Price Action: Apple traded at $186.97, up 2.13% for the day at the time of publication. Alphabet traded at $168.23 down 0.24% at the time of publication.

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