We love how ‘location-tracking devices’ help us in various ways, no more tearing apart the house looking for those darn keys! But it turns real spooky real quick when those Bluetooth trackers start playing detective without our permission. As a solution for the latter situation, Apple and Google have come together to save us from the clutches of creepy stalkers misusing Bluetooth trackers like Apple's AirTag.
The two companies have presented a preliminary proposal of guidelines and optimal approaches that aim to stop unsolicited tracking using Bluetooth technology in the tech industry. The first-of-its-kind specification will allow Bluetooth location-tracking devices to be compatible with unauthorised tracking detection and alerts across iOS and Android platforms.
Apple’s vice president of Sensing and Connectivity (yes, that’s the real designation), Ron Huang, said in a statement, “We built AirTag and the Find My network with a set of proactive features to discourage unwanted tracking — a first in the industry — and we continue to make improvements to help ensure the technology is being used as intended. 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.”
The specification has been submitted as an Internet-Draft via the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a standards development organisation. After the comment period, they'll be putting their heads together to address feedback and release a production implementation of the specification by the end of 2023. And guess what? It'll be supported in future versions of iOS and Android.