Serious Discussion Unknown tracker alerts - Google adds protection against AirTag stalking for Android users

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Google blog: How Android keeps you and your devices safe

Wireless location-tracking accessories like Apple’s AirTags and Google’s rumored Nest Locator Tags have become increasingly popular for their ability to help users locate misplaced items. However, these devices have also inadvertently opened up avenues for unwanted tracking and stalking, raising significant safety concerns. Apple and Google worked together recently to ensure that regardless of your phone's operating system, it will be able to identify Bluetooth trackers that might be following you around. Now, we're getting a chance to see just how these unknown tracker alerts will work.

Recently, researcher Mishaal Rahman shared screenshots obtained from AssembleDebug of Android's soon-to-be-released unknown tracker alerts. This feature, which is set to launch later this summer, is designed to alert users of potentially unwanted tracker tags nearby — regardless of if said tracker was made by Apple, Tile, Samsung, or another brand. The screenshots provide a glimpse into how this feature will function, showing alerts about unknown trackers and options to view more details or dismiss the alert.

This feature will automatically notify users if their phone detects an unknown tracker moving with them. Users will be able to see the device on a map, understand where it has been seen traveling with them, and play a sound on the tracker to help find it. If users are still concerned about their safety, they'll be able to read instructions to physically disable the tracker and stop it from updating its location.

Google has also built in manual scanning, so users will be able to proactively search for unknown trackers that might be close to them. This feature will work with many widely used Bluetooth trackers, including Apple AirTags and all trackers compatible with Google's new Find My Device network.

Google's initiative is not just about Android users. When the company teamed up with Apple, it helped publish a new draft industry specification outlining how Bluetooth tracker manufacturers can develop safer trackers that are compatible with detection and alerts across Android and iOS to help combat unwanted tracking.

Story via Here’s how Android will protect you from AirTag stalking


 

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Sandbox Breaker

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Found a tag in my customers car. Wedged between the butt of the seat... deep in the upholstery. I was never able to find tags before using Mag and GS/RF methods.
 

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Android — Unknown Tracker alerts now rolling out for Android 6 Marshmallow and higher.
Unknown tracker alerts, which we announced at I/O 2023, are beginning to roll out to Android 6.0+ users this month. Here are three ways this new feature helps keep you safe from unwanted Bluetooth tracking on Android.
  1. Get automatic alerts for unknown trackers
  2. Take action on an unknown tracker alert
  3. Manually scan your surroundings

An update on the new Find My Device network​

We also want to share an update on the launch status of our new Find My Device network, which we announced at I/O 2023 as coming this summer to Android. These new Find My Device features will help you locate your missing belongings like headphones, phones, and other everyday items (like luggage and keys) using a range of new third-party Bluetooth tracker tags.
User safety and the prevention of unwanted location tracking is a top priority for Android. We are working in partnership with Apple to help finalize the joint unwanted tracker alert specification by the end of this year. At this time we’ve made the decision to hold the rollout of the Find My Device network until Apple has implemented protections for iOS.
 

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