Image credit : nippon.com
All tracker tags may soon be detectable by iPhones and Android phones, protecting users from stalking.
In order for producers of Bluetooth-based tracking tags to make them compatible with notifications for unauthorized tracking detection on iPhones and Android phones, Apple and Google have created a new joint specification. This can be standardized so that any tag manufacturer can include anti-stalking features in their tags. Although it’s a great move, it won’t prevent a determined stalker.
“Adding the proposed technology to devices will help protect people from being unknowingly tracked. While this spec will help cut down on the ‘civilian’ tracking it will not deter a motivated and skilled threat actor,” cyber security professional Chris Furtick told Lifewire via email.
The new specification has “expressed support” from companies like Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, Eufy Security, and Pebblebee, according to a joint press release from Apple and Google. Even if we all desire this technology for our own protection, it’s odd that nobody’s purchase decision will likely be influenced by it. Certainly not in a positive direction.
Any would-be stalker would steer clear of purchasing anti-stalking tags, and the rest of us, those of us who have no immediate plans to engage in stalking, would probably not give a damn since it’s not a feature that would immediately benefit us.
But this specification’s underlying principle is still a sound one. Your phone should be able to find a tracker via sound if it finds one. When in motion, trackers should also sound an alert so you can locate them even if you don’t have a smartphone that works with them.
But is it actually helpful? Though it’s possible that Apple and Google are taking early action to circumvent legislation, regulations limiting tracking tags may still be beneficial.
“There are roughly 30 individual state-level statutes that make it illegal to place location devices in automobiles for purposes of tracking people without their knowledge or informed consent. For example, in some places, it may be illegal to use tracker tags to monitor someone without their consent. We may begin to see legislative amendments to specifically include the use of tracking tags per se,” data privacy and cybersecurity attorney Ryan Johnson told Lifewire via email.