Google’s Solution for Unknown Tracker Warning
In May of this year, Google and Apple joined forces to address the growing concern of secretly tracking individuals using devices like AirTag trackers. As part of their efforts, Google has recently launched the Unknown Tracker Warning feature on devices running Android 6.0 and later.
How the Unknown Tracker Warning Works
Currently, the Unknown Tracker Warning feature is specifically designed for AirTag trackers, but Google has ambitious plans to expand its support to include other similar tracking devices in the future. When an unknown Bluetooth tracker is detected near a mobile device, the system sends a notification to the owner. By opening the notification, the user gains insights into the tracker’s details and can view a map showing its movements.
Additionally, the feature offers a “play sound” option, enabling users to make the unknown tracker emit a noise, helping them locate the device without alerting the tracker owner.
Enhanced Protection and Upcoming Updates
Google’s commitment to user safety doesn’t end there. When a mobile device owner brings an unknown tracker close to their smartphone, the system can determine the device’s serial number and provide additional information about its owner, such as the last four digits of their phone number. Moreover, users have the option to disable the unknown tracker entirely, preventing its owner from accessing any data about its location.
For users who want to take proactive measures, Google has introduced a manual scan feature. This feature allows mobile device owners to scan their surroundings for unknown trackers without waiting for an automatic system alert. To perform a manual search, users need to navigate to “Settings” – “Security and emergency cases” – “Unknown tracker alerts” and initiate a scan by pressing the “Scan now” button on their Android devices. The scanning process typically takes about 10 seconds.
Looking ahead, Google is delaying the rollout of an updated Find My Device network until Apple implements a similar feature in iOS, notes NIXsolutions. The joint specifications for the unwanted tracker alert feature are expected to be adopted by the end of the year, paving the way for an updated Find My Device network, which aims to help users locate missing gadgets.