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Terrified by Bluetooth trackers? Google reveals location tracker killer

Google has announced big steps to combat the misuse of Bluetooth location tracking devices with a big feature announced at Google I/O 2023.

By: HT TECH
Updated on: May 11 2023, 20:58 IST
Google announced notable steps to prevent unwanted tracking by BT location trackers. (Google)
Google announced notable steps to prevent unwanted tracking by BT location trackers. (Google)

The use of devices that track location is becoming increasingly popular among people as they help keep track of important personal belongings. Location trackers like Apple’s AirTag and Tile assist people in keeping a check on lost or stolen items. However, these gadgets have also been notoriously used for unwanted tracking of individuals. Just a few weeks ago, it was revealed that Apple and Google had joined forces to propose and submit an industry specification that will help combat the misuse of Bluetooth location-tracking devices for unwanted tracking.

Now Google, at the Google I/O 2023, announced a big feature coming soon that will aid in combating this misuse of location tracking devices.

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New Find My Device Network

Google announced that it is currently working on a new Find My Device network that will soon alert users of unknown location trackers that are in their vicinity. Currently, Find My Device helps users locate misplaced devices that have location capabilities and are connected to the internet. Going forward, it will use user-data crowdsourced from the network to help users locate their missing belongings such as headphones as well as issue alerts about location tracking devices.

Also read: Looking for a smartphone? To check mobile finder click here.

Moreover, the revamped Find My Device feature makes it easier to find misplaced gadgets by ringing compatible devices or viewing their location on a map in the app. According to Google, the new network will allow tracking of phones, tablets, earbuds, and Bluetooth trackers by allowing them to ping Android devices around the world, and will offer more accurate tracking than third-party trackers. Tile and Chipolo and Pebblebee have already confirmed support for their Bluetooth tracking devices and others could follow suit.

Apple, Google joining forces

Apple and Google have jointly submitted a proposed industry specification to help combat the misuse of Bluetooth location-tracking devices for unwanted tracking, according to a statement released by Apple. This will be the first-of-its-kind specification that will not only detect if people are being tracked unwantedly but also issue alerts to iOS and Android users.

Not just Apple and Google, but companies like Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, eufy Security, and Pebblebee have also warranted their support for this specification. According to Apple, if manufacturers agree to build this into their products, this draft will provide the best practices and instructions to them.

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First Published Date: 11 May, 17:27 IST

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