Google Rolling Out Update With Unknown Tracker Alerts Later This Year

During its annual I/O event, Google announced that it will be rolling out an update for Android’s “Find My Device” function. The latest update will allow your device to find more devices and, more importantly, it will also include new unknown tracker alerts separately.

As its name implies, unknown tracker alerts is basically a proactive tracker that will alert you to unknown trackers “travelling” with you, such as Apple’s AirTag or any Bluetooth-enabled trackers.

The announcement for the unknown tracker alerts apparently comes after Google and Apple had spoken about pushing for an industry-wide initiative to address unwanted tracking across devices. If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, here’s a very quick primer – bad actors, thieves, and robbers discovered years back that they could stealthily attach an AirTag to a target’s luggage at an airport. When that’s done and the victim has picked up their “marked” luggage, they then proceed to follow their targets via the AirTag app.

“Bluetooth trackers have created tremendous user benefits, but they also bring the potential of unwanted tracking, which requires industrywide action to solve,” said Dave Burke, Google’s vice president of Engineering for Android. “Android has an unwavering commitment to protecting users, and will continue to develop strong safeguards and collaborate with the industry to help combat the misuse of Bluetooth tracking devices.”

(image source: Google IO 2023.)

Needless to say, Apple isn’t the only brand that will benefit from the rollout of Google’s Unknown tracker alert. Samsung’s Tile will also be able to benefit from the feature, as will Sony and JBL devices. More importantly, and to state the obvious, the update will be available for both Android and iOS.

Google says that both the new Find My Device and unknown tracker alerts will roll out during Summer this year, but no specific or exact date was given.

(Source: Google IO 2023, Engadget, TechCrunch, Apple)

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