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Business News/ Technology / News/  Google brings anti-stalking feature to alert users about unknown AirTags: Details inside
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Google brings anti-stalking feature to alert users about unknown AirTags: Details inside

Google has introduced new features for Android users to address concerns about potential stalking with Bluetooth trackers like Apple AirTags. The features include alerts for unknown tracking devices and a manual scan option to detect nearby trackers and provide guidance on next steps.

With the new feature, Google aims to enhance user safety and control over tracking devices. (Reuters)Premium
With the new feature, Google aims to enhance user safety and control over tracking devices. (Reuters)

Despite its numerous benefits, concerns about Apple AirTag being used as a potential device to stalk individuals exist. To address these concerns, Apple implemented various measures, and now Google has also introduced additional features for Android users. These features were announced at Google I/O 2023 and are now available to Android users.

One of the new features is the "Alerts for Unknown Tracking Devices." When your Android device detects an unknown Bluetooth tracker in close proximity, you will receive an alert. By tapping on the notification, you can access more information about the tracker and even view a map displaying its movements while it is near you. Additionally, you have the option to play a sound from the tracker to help you locate it discreetly without alerting the owner.

Upon receiving an alert, users can gather further details about the unknown Bluetooth tracker and receive guidance on what steps to take next. For example, bringing the device close to the back of a users phone might prompt some Bluetooth trackers to reveal their serial numbers or provide information about their owners, such as the last four digits of their phone number. This information can assist users in determining the ownership of the tracker and whether it is being used maliciously for stalking or if it was accidentally left behind.

Another feature introduced by Google is the "Manual Scan" option. Users can access this feature by navigating to Settings → Safety & Emergency → Unknown Tracker Alerts and then tapping the "Scan Now" button. The manual scan takes approximately 10 seconds to complete and generates a list of nearby trackers that are currently separated from their owner's device. By selecting a listed tracker, users can receive further guidance on what actions to take.

This new feature is compatible with Android devices running version 6.0 and later. With these additions, Google aims to enhance user safety and provide them with more control over potential tracking devices in their vicinity.

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Published: 28 Jul 2023, 05:07 PM IST
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