Google recently unveiled new measures to combat stalking at Google I/O this May, and these should now be available on all Android 6.0+ devices starting today. Their main aim with these measures is to address digital stalking, which has increased since Apple unveiled AirTag last year.
What exactly are Unknown Tracker Alerts? Well, these notifications alert you if there's an unknown Bluetooth tracker traveling with you that doesn't belong to anyone in particular.
If your Android phone gives an alert about an identified tracking device, simply tap to get more details by tapping its alert icon. Information provided includes where and when the tracker has been with you in some instances.
This might also include serial number information about its owner. If you're having difficulty locating it quickly, an option to activate sound production allows it to make itself known more readily.
Similarly, if there's anything suspicious or unwanted with regards to deactivating, such as AirTag, which requires twisting off its top to release and remove its battery, it is provided with instructions for deactivating.
Another feature of the rollout is manual tracker scanning capabilities. Once your Android phone has received this update, go into Settings > Safety & Emergency > Unknown Tracker Alerts and hit "Scan now."
Google estimates this manual search should take less than ten seconds. Once detected, you'll receive similar options as an automatic alert would.
Google and Apple have joined forces in an unprecedented collaboration to address concerns over unwanted tracker stalking, developing an industry standard to enable other third-party trackers to integrate into their system.
Furthermore, Google announced their Find My Device network- similar to Apple's Find Mef had been delayed, as they decided to wait until Apple fully implemented unknown tracking protections into iOS before unveiling this new feature.
Notably, these anti-stalking measures may diminish their ability to track stolen items on a map due to thieves being more adept at finding hidden trackers no matter the phone model they use.
Still, Google and Apple prioritize decreasing stalking while increasing security by taking these steps, so these anti-stalking measures have been put in place by them.