Identity, Privacy, Threat Intelligence

Anti-stalking feature to become part of Android 6.0+ and iOS 17.5

Closeup Google app with Google Workspace apps (Gmail, Google Calendar, Docs etc) on iPhone.

Anti-stalking feature to become part of Android 6.0+ and iOS 17.5 Google and Apple will soon launch an anti-stalking feature for Android 6.0+ and iOS 17.5, which alerts users if someone is using a gadget like an AirTag or similar to secretly track them, The Register reports.

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A feature in Apple’s Find My network will alert users if there is an unauthorized AirTag detected inside their bags or vehicle. The latest update will also send a similar alert if it detects any kind of supported Bluetooth tracker and not just AirTags.

Meanwhile, Android currently requires users to download a separate specific app for AirTags, but this collaboration will now allow sending of alerts without a separate app.

Users who get an alert will be offered assistance in locating the widget and how to disable them, if possible, the companies said.

They also said that the anti-stalking feature works with widgets that are an “AirTag, Find My accessory, or other industry specification-compatible Bluetooth tracker.”

“All manufacturers of physical trackers need to step up and make sure that their trackers have mitigations that cannot be turned off,” said Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity at Electronic Frontier Foundation. “But it also needs to be done in a careful, thoughtful manner that does not create an entirely new network for tracking people who have trackers that they're using on their phones.”

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