Apple and Google’s cross-platform anti-stalking Bluetooth alerts are now live

May 13, 2024
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The Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers (DULT) standard is a cross-platform initiative designed to prevent Bluetooth trackers like Apple AirTags from being misused to track people without their knowledge. The specification allows iOS and Android devices to detect and alert you when a tracker that conforms to the standard is traveling with you and its owner is not.

Apple said in a press release that you’ll get an “[Item] Found Moving With You” alert on your iPhone if an unknown Bluetooth tracking device is moving with you “over time, regardless of the platform the device is paired with.” You’ll be able to view the tracker’s identifier, have the tracker play a sound so you can find it, and even find out how to disable it.

Apple had to retroactively add anti-tracking features to its AirTags following their launch in 2021.
Screenshot: Victoria Song / The Verge

While Apple launched AirTags without the ability to alert Android users if one was following them, it did fix that with an Android app a few months later. Since Google implemented DULT in December, the function is now baked into Android. But with Google’s enhanced Find My Device network now live and rolling out to Android users, the potential for third-party devices to track people unknowingly could grow exponentially.

To prevent these types of valid privacy concerns, Google said it would wait for Apple to implement DULT in its ecosystem before adding support for Bluetooth tracker tags to the Find My Device network. Now that Apple has added the standard to iOS, it’s likely that many of these new Bluetooth trackers will launch shortly.

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