Apple And Google Team Up To Thwart Location Stalkers On iOS And Android

apple and google collaborate on hidden trackers
AirTags and other property tracking tools are remarkably useful for keeping tabs on your stuff wherever it goes. However, on the flip side, hidden trackers are also a concern, with criminals learning to use Apple AirTags to mark vehicles that could be tracked and stolen later. Thankfully, both Apple and Google are teaming up to help address this problem and others that might arise from nefarious ne’er-do-wells hiding trackers in your belongings.

Last year, Apple and Google created an industry specification called DULT, or Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers, which can alert iOS or Android users of unknown Bluetooth tracking devices. This is now being integrated into iOS 17.5 as well as on Android 6.0+ devices. With this update, users may see occasional notices that say “[Item] Found Moving With You” if an unknown Bluetooth tracking device is nearby and traveling with you.
apple google apple and google collaborate on hidden trackers

While it is possible the tracker is on an item the user is borrowing or on another person traveling with you, this new system should still give some peace of mind. If you do get one of these alerts and are not aware of any trackers nearby, you can view the tracker’s identifier, play a sound on the tracker to find it, and view instructions to disable the tracker. However, this may not work for all tracking tags, as “Bluetooth tag manufacturers including Chipolo, eufy, Jio, Motorola, and Pebblebee have committed that future tags will be compatible.”

Despite the concerns about trackers, it's important to remember that these device can still be useful tools for keeping track of your luggage, a lost pet, or even your car. The positive potential of trackers, coupled with this collaboration and the goal of ensuring safety and security, is good to see. As such, we look forward to any progress that Apple and Google make with DULT and the Internet Engineering Task Force.