Tech giants Apple and Google jointly propose industry specification to combat unwanted tracking

Asha Bajaj
3 min readMay 9, 2023

IBNS: Tech majors Apple and Google recently jointly submitted a proposed industry specification to help combat the misuse of Bluetooth location-tracking devices for unwanted tracking.

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.

“Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, eufy Security, and Pebblebee have expressed support for the draft specification, which offers best practices and instructions for manufacturers, should they choose to build these capabilities into their products,” read a statement issued by Apple.

“Apple launched AirTag to give users the peace of mind knowing where to find their most important items,” said Ron Huang, Apple’s vice president of Sensing and Connectivity. “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.”

“Bluetooth trackers have created tremendous user benefits, but they also bring the potential of unwanted tracking, which requires industrywide action to solve,” said Dave Burke, Google’s vice president of Engineering for Android. “Android has an unwavering commitment to protecting users, and will continue to develop strong safeguards and collaborate with the industry to help combat the misuse of Bluetooth tracking devices.”

In addition to incorporating feedback from device manufacturers, input from various safety and advocacy groups has been integrated into the development of the specification.

“The National Network to End Domestic Violence has been advocating for universal standards to protect survivors — and all people — from the misuse of Bluetooth tracking devices. This collaboration and the resulting standards are a significant step forward. NNEDV is encouraged by this progress,” said Erica Olsen, the National Network to End Domestic

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Asha Bajaj

I write on national and international Health, Politics, Business, Education, Environment, Biodiversity, Science, First Nations, Humanitarian, gender, women