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Apple and Google group as much as cease stalking by way of Bluetooth trackers

Apple and Google have jointly announced work on a standard for Bluetooth trackers like Apple’s AirTags and Tile trackers aimed at reducing the possibility they could be used by stalkers.

Google’s involvement is because of the required integration with Android, although there are continued rumors that the company will launch its own tracker at Google I/O next week.

As well as Tile, the idea also has the initial support of Samsung who sells its Galaxy SmartTag as well as Anker’s Eufy security brand, Chopolo and Pebblebee.

Apple’s AirTags faced a lot of criticism when they first launched two years ago and numerous stalking stories have emerged. Apple has released updates for the trackers aimed at tackling the problem.

The new specification focuses on alerts for unwanted tracking across devices and should be finalized by the end of the year.

“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.

Ron Huang, Apple’s vice president of Sensing and Connectivity added: “We built AirTag and the Find My network with a set of proactive features to discourage unwanted tracking — a first in the industry — and we continue to make improvements to help ensure the technology is being used as intended. This new industry specification builds upon the AirTag protections, and through collaboration with Google results in a critical step forward to help combat unwanted tracking across iOS and Android.”

Apple and Google are buddies when it suits them and when it doesn’t… well, they’re more like frenemies.

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