Apple and Google are partnering to prevent possible spying by item trackers

Apple and Google are cooperating (again!) on use of Bluetooth (again!) tracking technology. AirTags and other item trackers based on Bluetooth could be used to perform unwanted tracking.

Apple added additional safeguards to report unrecognized AirTag traveling with user. Also, app was introduced for Android users.

Now Apple and Google are working together to have unified specification to alert users of unwanted location trackers. Future versions of iOS and Android are to implement these specifications.

Apple Newsroom: Apple, Google partner on an industry specification to address unwanted tracking

IETF Datatracker: Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers

Google Play: Tracker Detect

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Lufthansa does not ban AirTags after all

Regulators and Apple had to issue statements to resolve recent messages that Lufthansa is to ban active AirTags in checked luggage.

AirTags are compliant with international airline travel safety regulations for carry-on and checked baggage.

Apple by 9To5Mac

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AirTags might be banned from luggage by airlines

Reports arise that Lufthansa is now banning AirTags in checked luggage requesting tracking devices to be turned off.

At the moment it is not known if rules are to be enforced and what airlines, which countries and airports will require removal of AirTags from luggage.

Overall, it still looks very strange having that Airplane mode on iPhone does not turn off Bluetooth.

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Apple addresses concerns with AirTags

Apple published document describing its measures to prevent unwanted tracking using AirTags.

Apple adjusts security measures to minimize risks of unwanted AirTag tracking. These include:

  • Differentiate between AirPods and AirTags in Find My alerts;
  • Use Precision Finding to find unwanted AirTag;
  • More audible alerts on AirTags to simplify discovery;
  • Improvements to ways of detecting unwanted tracking;
  • and other measures.

Apple Newsroom: An update on AirTag and unwanted tracking

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Apple publishes safety guide addressing AirTag fears

Apple tries to address AirTag unwanted tracking issues in updated safety document.

Both AirTag and the Find My network are designed with privacy at their core. AirTag and Find My network accessories have unique Bluetooth identifiers that change frequently. To discourage unwanted tracking, Find My notifies you if an unknown AirTag or other Find My accessory is seen moving with you over time by sending you the message, “Item Detected Near You.” (This feature is available on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 14.5 or iPadOS 14.5 or later). If you see this message on your device, an AirTag or other Find My accessory that has been separated from the person who registered it is traveling with you, and the owner might be able to see its location. It’s possible that the AirTag might be attached to an item you are borrowing.

Apple

Apple: Personal Safety User Guide

Apple Support: What to do if you get an alert that an AirTag or Find My network accessory is with you

Reference: Apple Explains How to Stay Safe With AirTag and More in Personal Safety Guide

Apple publishes ‘Tracker Detect’ app to prevent Android users from being tracked by AirTags

Apple released 'Tracker Detect' application for Android. This apps will warn users if it sees unwanted AirTag traveling with the user.

App detects AirTags that are separated from their owners and displays those. This minimizes risks of false alarms.

It seems, however, that currently app does not detect AirTags in background and user needs to explicitly launch an app and perform scan manually.

Google Play: Tracker Detect