HomeWinBuzzer NewsGoogle and Apple Partner to Thwart Unwanted Wireless Tracking

Google and Apple Partner to Thwart Unwanted Wireless Tracking

Apple and Google are pushing for Bluetooth trackers to require industry standard specifications amid concerns over spying.

-

and are the two largest mobile platform providers and huge rivals. Google's and Apple's iOS dominate the market and are so different in concept and ethos. However, in a rare show of solidarity, Apple and Google have partnered to the misuse of Bluetooth location-tracking devices for unwanted tracking of individuals.

The two tech giants have proposed a new industry specification that will allow Bluetooth trackers to be compatible with unauthorized tracking detection and alerts across iOS and Android platforms.

Apple's press release states:

“Today Apple and Google 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 unauthorized tracking detection and alerts across iOS and Android platforms.”

If you are unfamiliar with Bluetooth trackers, they are small devices that can be attached to personal items such as keys, wallets, bags, or pets, and can be located using a smartphone app. They can be very useful for finding lost or misplaced items, but they can also pose a privacy risk if they are used to track someone without their consent.

Apple's own AirTag product is an example of a Bluetooth tracker. Last year, Apple was hit with a lawsuit by two women who say AirTags were used to stalk them.

Creating a Standard Specification for Bluetooth Trackers

To combat this problem of trackers being used, Apple and Google have collaborated to create a joint specification that will require Bluetooth trackers to adhere to certain standards of privacy and security. The specification will ensure that Bluetooth trackers can be detected and alerted by both iOS and Android devices, regardless of the manufacturer or app.

“Bluetooth trackers have created tremendous user benefits, but they also bring the potential of unwanted tracking, which requires industrywide action to solve,” says Dave Burke, Google's vice president of Engineering for Android

The specification will also require Bluetooth trackers to periodically rotate their identifiers to prevent long-term tracking by third parties. Additionally, the specification will enable users to control the permissions and settings of their Bluetooth trackers, such as turning them off or deleting them from their accounts.

Tip of the day: Though many VPN providers have their own apps, you can in many cases connect to a VPN in Windows without any third-party software. This is ideal if you have a self-hosted VPN or if you're using a PC with restricted permissions. In our tutorial, we're showing you how to connect to a VPN in Windows.

SourceApple
Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.