Apple and Google Introduce New Standard for Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers

Apple and Google Introduce New Standard for Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers

Simon Vuillaume
2 min read

Apple and Google Introduce New Standard for Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers

Apple and Google have unveiled an industry standard aimed at detecting unwanted location trackers, designed to alert users if they are being tracked via unfamiliar Bluetooth devices. This groundbreaking feature is set to be rolled out on iOS 17.5 and Android 6.0 devices and later, starting on May 14, 2024. Users will receive a notification stating "[Item] Found Moving With You" upon detection.

The origins of this initiative stem from rising apprehensions regarding the use of AirTags for stalking. As a response, major companies such as Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, Eufy, Jio, Motorola, and Pebblebee are slated to adopt this new standard. Additionally, there are speculations circulating about Google's imminent release of its own Bluetooth tracker at the ongoing I/O developer conference, potentially influencing the timing of the alert rollout. It is noteworthy that Apple is currently grappling with a class-action lawsuit concerning AirTag stalking, with a San Francisco judge rebuffing the company's attempt to dismiss the case in March.

Key Takeaways

  • Apple and Google have spearheaded the development of an industry standard, "Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers," to promptly notify users of being tracked via unknown Bluetooth devices.
  • The feature is set to launch on iOS 17.5 and Android 6.0 devices and later from May 14, 2024.


The newly established industry standard for identifying unwanted location trackers, formulated by Apple and Google, directly confronts the issue of AirTags being exploited for stalking. The adoption of this standard by companies like Samsung, Tile, and Eufy is poised to significantly impact the Bluetooth tracker market. Furthermore, the implementation of this standard has implications for ongoing lawsuits against Apple, demonstrating a tangible response to legal pressures. In the immediate term, users are poised to experience heightened control over their privacy and safety. Looking forward, this development could signal the potential for sterner regulations and a metamorphosis in the tracking device industry, prioritizing user consent and transparency. This progression may also serve as an impetus for other tech titans to collaborate on enhanced safety measures, fostering a more secure environment for users across the board.

Did You Know?

  • Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers: This is a pioneering standard jointly developed by Apple and Google to detect and notify users when they are being tracked via unknown Bluetooth devices. This feature is poised to play a pivotal role in thwarting unwanted tracking and stalking, particularly in light of mounting concerns over the misuse of AirTags for such purposes.
  • Bluetooth Tracking Devices: These are compact, portable devices affixed to items such as keys, wallets, or bags to facilitate their location in case of loss. They operate by leveraging Bluetooth technology to connect to a user's smartphone and share their respective locations. With the implementation of the new industry standard, these devices will be readily detected, and users will be promptly alerted if an unfamiliar device is in motion alongside them.
  • Class-action Lawsuit Against Apple: Apple currently finds itself entangled in a class-action lawsuit pertaining to AirTag stalking, with a San Francisco judge rejecting the company's bid to dismiss the case in March. This lawsuit underscores the escalating concerns around the potential misuse of tracking devices, underscoring the pressing need for improved safeguards and user alerts, a concern that the new industry standard endeavors to address.

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