Google is now rolling out its unwanted tracker detection function for Android smartphones. This feature was announced at Google I/O 2023 which sends alerts to users when they are being tracked by an unknown Bluetooth tracker. As of now Unknown tracker alerts currently work with Apple AirTags. Following an alert, you can find out more about the unidentified Bluetooth tracker and obtain guidance on what to do.
Apple has released Unknown tracker alerts to Android 6.0+ users this month. If an unknown Bluetooth tracker is discovered to be travelling with you and its owner is separated from it, this feature will notify you on your compatible Android device.
Google claims that if you tap on the notification, you can view a map of the tracker’s route and get more information about it. The tracker will also produce noise to help you find it if you hit “Play sound” without the owner of the tracker knowing.
Some Bluetooth trackers may reveal their serial number or other details about the user of the device, such as the last four digits of their phone number when you bring the gadget close to the back of your phone.
You can also find out how to physically deactivate the Bluetooth tracker, which would prevent the owner from receiving any more location updates from the tracker in the future.
A manual scan tool can look for trackers nearby that are separated from their owners so you can search your surroundings for them without waiting for an alert.
To do this, go to Settings → Safety & emergency → Unknown tracker alerts and tap the “Scan Now” button. After your device has finished a manual scan, which usually takes around 10 seconds, you’ll see a list of trackers that are currently considered to be nearby and separate from their owner’s device. By tapping the mentioned tracker, you can obtain advice regarding what to do next.
Apple AirTags are the only tracking tags that currently include unknown tracker notifications, but the business is collaborating with tag manufacturers to eventually expand this important protection to other tracking tags through their shared industry specifications.
Also, the company has decided to postpone the launch of its impending Find My Device network at the moment till Apple adds protections for iOS.
“User safety and the prevention of unwanted location tracking is a top priority for Android. We are working in partnership with Apple to help finalize the joint unwanted tracker alert specification by the end of this year. At this time we’ve made the decision to hold the rollout of the Find My Device network until Apple has implemented protections for iOS,” the search giant said.
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