Apple And Google Join Forces To Combat Unwanted Bluetooth Tracking

Apple And Google Join Forces To Combat Unwanted Bluetooth Tracking

Published on May 14th, 2024

Apple and Google, tech giants often seen as rivals, have come together to address a growing privacy concern: unwanted location tracking using Bluetooth devices.

This collaboration tackles the misuse of trackers designed for legitimate purposes like finding lost belongings.

DULT: Protecting Users from Stealthy Tracking

The newly launched cross-platform feature, named “Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers” (DULT), empowers users on both iOS and Android devices.

DULT equips users with the ability to identify unknown Bluetooth trackers that might be following them without their knowledge or consent.

How DULT Works

DULT operates by detecting unidentified Bluetooth tracking devices in close proximity to a user’s device.

If such a tracker is detected moving alongside the user over a period of time, regardless of the platform it’s paired with, the user will receive an alert.

  • Android: Users will be notified with a “Tracker traveling with you” message.
  • iOS: Users will see an “[Item] Found Moving With You” notification.

These alerts provide users with crucial information:

  • Tracker Identification: This allows users to potentially identify the specific tracker.
  • Audio Detection: Users can initiate a sound playback feature to help locate the hidden tracker.
  • Disabling Instructions: DULT offers guidance on how to disable the unwanted tracker.

Apple and Google deliver support for unwanted tracking alerts in iOS and Android

Industry-Wide Collaboration For Enhanced Security

This initiative extends beyond just a feature. It establishes an industry-wide standard for dealing with unwanted tracking.

The DULT specification offers manufacturers best practices and instructions for integrating unwanted tracking detection functionalities into their devices, fostering a more secure mobile landscape.

Why DULT Is Important

The development of DULT comes amidst rising concerns about the misuse of Bluetooth trackers for malicious purposes.

These trackers, originally intended for finding misplaced items, have been exploited by individuals with harmful intentions.

  • Stalking: A significant concern is the use of trackers for stalking. Abusers might misuse trackers to monitor the location of their targets in real-time.
  • Criminal Activity: There have been reports of trackers being used to facilitate criminal activities.

DULT serves as a significant step towards combating these threats and empowering users to protect their privacy and safety.