In a bid to tackle the problem of unwanted tracking, Apple and Google have joined forces to develop a solution for Bluetooth location-tracking devices. These devices are commonly used to locate personal items like keys, purses, and luggage through crowdsourcing. However, they can also be misused for tracking individuals without their consent. The tech giants have submitted an industry specification that will enable manufacturers to build in unauthorized tracking detection and alerts across both iOS and Android platforms. The new specification has received support from several organizations such as Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, eufy Security, and Pebblebee.
The proposed specification offers best practices and instructions for manufacturers to integrate these capabilities into their products while incorporating feedback from device manufacturers as well as safety and advocacy groups. This move has been welcomed by the National Network to End Domestic Violence and the Center for Democracy & Technology who see it as a significant step forward in addressing unwanted tracking.
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a leading standards development organization has received the submission of this specification as an Internet-Draft. Interested parties are invited to review and comment on it over the next three months.
Apple and Google plan on partnering together to address any feedback they receive before releasing a production implementation of the specification by 2023-end with support for future versions of both iOS and Android platforms. In their joint statement on this collaboration between them, they said that it is crucial in combating unwanted tracking across both platforms effectively.