In an effort to improve the location tracking security on Bluetooth-enabled devices, Google and Apple are working together to help shift industry standards.
“Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers”
Earlier this week, the tech giants submitted a new draft specification to the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), the “premier standards development organization for the Internet,” recommending that manufacturers design Bluetooth tracking-enabled devices with more transparency. They seek to develop new standards that will allow users to be alerted when unwanted tracking of their devices may be taking place.
According to coordinated press releases, Apple and Google stated:
“The first-of-its-kind specification will allow Bluetooth location-tracking devices to be compatible with unauthorized tracking detection and alerts across iOS and Android platforms… [Other organizations] have expressed support for the draft specification, which offers best practices and instructions for manufacturers, should they choose to build these capabilities into their products.”
These new standards would enable both iOS and Android users to better protect their personal information, helping them feel more secure as Bluetooth data misuse is on the rise.
Dave Burke, Google’s vice president of Engineering for Android, believes this issue needs to be addressed on an industry-wide level:
“Bluetooth trackers have created tremendous user benefits but also bring the potential of unwanted tracking, which requires industry-wide action to solve. Android has an unwavering commitment to protecting users and will continue to develop strong safeguards and collaborate with the industry to help combat the misuse of Bluetooth tracking devices.”
After the specification has passed through a three-month review period, Apple and Google plan to “partner to address feedback” and “release a production implementation of the specification for unwanted tracking alerts” by the end of the year.