Are you someone who uses Bluetooth location-tracking devices to keep track of your personal belongings? You may have heard about how these devices can also be misused for unwanted tracking of individuals. Apple and Google are leading an initiative to combat this misuse.
Today, these tech giants jointly submitted a proposed industry specification to help address the issue of unwanted tracking. This 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. What's more, other companies such as Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, eufy Security, and Pebblebee have expressed support for this draft specification.
Ron Huang, Apple’s vice president of Sensing and Connectivity, stated that "We built AirTag and the Find My network with a set of proactive features to discourage unwanted tracking—a first in the industry." This new industry specification builds upon the AirTag protections, and through collaboration with Google, results in a critical step forward to help combat unwanted tracking across iOS and Android.
This specification also integrates input from various safety and advocacy groups, such as the National Network to End Domestic Violence and the Center for Democracy & Technology, to ensure the protection of users and prevent the misuse of Bluetooth location-tracking devices.
The specification has been submitted as an Internet-Draft via the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), and interested parties are invited and encouraged to review and comment over the next three months. 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, which will then be supported in future versions of iOS and Android.
This initiative is a significant step towards the protection of personal privacy and security. As a user of Bluetooth location-tracking devices, it's important to be aware of the potential risks and support efforts to prevent unwanted tracking. By working together with the industry and advocacy groups, Apple and Google are setting a standard for how technology can be used responsibly and with the protection of users in mind.
At Pebblebee, we are happy to support this initiative as we continue to make improvements to ensure our products are used as intended. We believe that technology can make our lives easier, but it's important to ensure that it's being used for good and not causing harm. We applaud Apple and Google for taking steps to combat unwanted tracking and are excited to see the positive impact this initiative will have on the industry as a whole.
Read the official press release here.