Google rolls out unknown tracker alerts on Android smartphones; Know how to enable it

Users can now track unknown Bluetooth trackers in their vicinity with the help of the new Unknown tracker alerts option on Android smartphones. Know how to enable it.

| Updated on: Aug 10 2023, 14:56 IST
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Unknown bluetooth tracker alerts
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Unknown bluetooth tracker alerts
2/5 Presently, 11.87 percent of desktop users use Safari on a regular basis, while Microsoft Edge slips to the third position with a market share of 11 percent. (Microsoft )
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4/5 Firefox and Opera have secured the 4th and 5th spot in the top 5 with 5.65 percent and 3.09 percent share respectively.  (Unsplash)
Unknown bluetooth tracker alerts
5/5 In the mobile realm, Chrome remains the reigning champion with a significant market share of 61.96 percent with Apple's Safari following in second place with 26.85 percent. (Unsplash)
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Want to stay safe from unknown Bluetooth trackers? Enable the unknown Bluetooth alerts option this way. (Google)

Over the past few months, there have been several debates about the advantages and drawbacks of Bluetooth trackers. While these devices have proven extremely useful in locating stolen safes, lost luggage, and even plants, these trackers have also been misused to track and stalk people without their consent. Tech companies have been making efforts to minimize these safety risks, with Google announcing an “unknown tracker alerts” feature at its Google I/O 2023 in May.

Now, the unknown tracker alerts feature is being widely rolled out on Android smartphones around the world.

Unknown tracker alerts on Android

This feature comes after Apple and Google jointly submitted a proposed first-of-its-kind industry specification to help combat the misuse of Bluetooth location-tracking devices for unwanted tracking. According to a Google blog post, an unknown tracker alert is sent when someone else's tracker device is separated from them and detected to be traveling with you and out of Bluetooth range from the owner.

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Users can tap on the notification to learn more about the Bluetooth tracker, information about its owner such as the last four digits of their phone number, and even view a map of where the tracker was seen traveling with them. To identify its location, users can tap the “Play Sound” option upon which the tracker will make a sound without its owner knowing.

There's also a manual scan feature through which users can manually scan Bluetooth trackers that have been separated from their owners.

How to enable unknown tracker alerts on Android

Step 1: To turn on unknown tracker alerts on your Android smartphone, go to your device's Settings.

Step 2: Tap on the Safety and Emergency option.

Step 3: You will see an unknown tracker alerts option. Tap on it and tap on the ‘allow alerts' option.

Step 4: Do note that this will require Bluetooth to be enabled. Permit Google Play Services to turn it on.

Step 5: You will see a list of trackers nearby. You can tap on the Scan now option to manually scan for Bluetooth trackers in your vicinity.

Do note that Google is slowly introducing this feature widely so you may not see it immediately on your device. It does not require any software updates since it is being rolled out through Google Play Services.

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First Published Date: 10 Aug, 14:29 IST
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