New industry standard: Apple and Google against stalking with tracker technology

Apple issued a press release the day before yesterday showing that the iPhone maker is leading the "Industry Standard Against Unwanted Tracking Initiative" together with Google. The problem behind this is that some people B. Apple AirTags use to stalk other people more or less unnoticed. With the small Bluetooth trackers, it is possible to understand the paths of the other person and to create movement profiles. If she stays longer in one place, you can find her there in real time. A warning system for iOS and Android is to be established by the end of 2023 so that this danger can be averted for those potentially being persecuted.

Apple and Google have introduced a new industry standard against stalking with Bluetooth trackers (such as Apple AirTags). This should be used in iOS and Android by the end of 2023.
Apple and Google have introduced a new industry standard against stalking with Bluetooth trackers (such as Apple AirTags). This should be used in iOS and Android by the end of 2023.

Specification for tracking alerts to be developed

At the nuclear press release It says that both Apple and Google now welcome contributions from other companies and interest groups that will help develop a specification that will warn users if unwanted tracking is suspected. "After the commenting phase, Apple and Google will jointly address the feedback and release an implementation of the standard in production for unwanted tracking alerts by the end of 2023, which will then be supported in future versions of iOS and Android", is it [called. Interested companies can review and comment on the specification over the next three months – that works here.

Samsung, Tile, eufy Security and others are already there

In addition to the public invitation to other companies to deal with the specification against unwanted tracking and ultimately to integrate it into their devices, it is also shown that some industry participants are already on board. Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, eufy Security and Pebblebee support the current draft from Apple and Google. In addition to some new features, this also contains proven procedures and instructions for manufacturers who want to integrate the technology into their products. In the near future, the misuse of Bluetooth tracking devices for unwanted tracking will be prevented across manufacturers and systems. After all, it currently needs z. B. still an additional app to track AirTags with Android smartphones.

Statements from Apple and Google on the subject

"Apple launched AirTag to give users the confidence to find their most important items' said Ron Huang, Apple's vice president of sensing and connectivity. "We've added a number of proactive features to AirTag and the Find My network to prevent unwanted tracking — an industry first — and we continue to make improvements to ensure the technology is being used as intended. This new industry standard builds on AirTag's defenses and, through collaboration with Google, is a critical step forward to combat unwanted tracking on iOS and Android."

"Bluetooth trackers have brought tremendous benefits to users, but they also harbor the potential for unwanted tracking that can only be solved through cross-industry actionsaid Dave Burke, Google's vice president of engineering for Android. "Android is relentless in protecting users and will continue to develop strong protections and work with the industry to combat Bluetooth tracker abuse."

In the test: AirTags are so easy to set up and use

Statements from stakeholders on the topic

"The National Network to End Domestic Violence has advocated for universal standards to protect survivors — and all people — from misuse of Bluetooth tracking devices. This collaboration and the resulting standards are a significant step forward. The NNEDV feels empowered by this progresssays Erica Olsen, Senior Director of its Safety Net Project at The National Network to End Domestic Violence. "These new standards will minimize opportunities for misuse of this technology and reduce the burden on survivors of tracking down unwanted trackers. We are grateful for these efforts and look forward to continuing to work together to stop unwanted tracking and abuse."

"Today's release of a draft specification is a welcome step in countering the harmful misuse of Bluetooth location devices' says Alexandra Reeve Givens, President and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology. "The CDT remains focused on ways to make these devices more discoverable and minimize the likelihood that they will be used to track people. A key element in reducing abuse is a universal OS-level solution capable of detecting trackers from different companies on the multitude of smartphones people use every day [...] "

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