Google is taking a major step in direction of enhancing consumer security and safety with the introduction of its new security characteristic, “Unknown Tracker Alerts.” The characteristic, introduced earlier this 12 months, goals to guard Android customers from potential stalking and unauthorized monitoring by means of Bluetooth units, reminiscent of Apple AirTags and different monitoring units. By alerting customers to potential monitoring, this characteristic permits them to take fast motion to guard themselves from malicious intent.
First introduced at Google I/O this spring, the brand new characteristic might be accessible on Android 6+ units from right now to place a halt to the rise in digital stalking and monitoring that was performed leveraging Apple’s AirTag know-how. Customers will be capable of manually scan for trackers with their Android units, and if such monitoring units are discovered, check with the characteristic’s steering and recommendations on what to do about it. So as to manually scan, customers have to go to Settings, after which to Security & Emergency. There, they shall discover the Unknown Tracker Alerts possibility, and wish to pick the “Scan now” button to finish the ten-second scan.
The arrival of this characteristic has been a very long time in coming, particularly when one considers the truth that the surge in Bluetooth monitoring units, reminiscent of Apple AirTags, has raised alarms concerning privateness breaches and potential misuse for illegal functions. Incidents of stalking and automobile monitoring for premeditated thefts compelled Apple to take motion by introducing new privateness warnings and alerts for AirTag customers. Nonetheless, Android customers have been left with a decrease stage of safeguarding. That is the place Google’s unknown tracker alerts are available in, providing an interim answer to guard Android customers till the completion of the industry-wide specification (undertaken by Apple and Google to deal with the problem of undesirable monitoring from Bluetooth units).
Upon receiving an unknown tracker alert, customers can view a map displaying the tracker’s path, in addition to faucet on “Play sound” to activate a sound on the machine to assist in its retrieval. Erik Kay, Google’s VP of Engineering, introduced in a weblog put up that the protection of customers, together with “the prevention of undesirable location monitoring is a high precedence for Android.” Google notes that ought to customers deliver the machine close to the again of their telephones, some Bluetooth trackers might share their serial quantity or further details about the proprietor of the machine, just like the final 4 digits of their cellphone quantity. Moreover, they’ll be capable of disable the Bluetooth tracker utterly, Kay added.
To proceed holding customers can their units secure, the tech titan is incorporating a number of enhancements to its new Discover My System community as effectively, in addition to delaying its international rollout. For many who want a reminder, Google had introduced at I/O 2023 that its up to date Discover My System community will assist customers find lacking belongings, like headphones, telephones, baggage, keys, and others, permitting them to find the units by ringing them or view their location on a map.