Apple and Google are taking steps to curb the abuse of location-tracking devices — but what about others?

Since the advent of products like the Tile and Apple AirTag, both used to keep track of easily lost items like wallets, keys and purses, bad actors and criminals have found ways to abuse them. 

These adversaries can range from criminals just looking to do something illegal for a range of reasons, but maybe just looking to steal a physical object, to just a jealous or suspicious spouse or partner who wants to keep tags on their significant other. 

Apple and other manufacturers who make these devices have since taken several steps to curb the abuse of these devices and make them more secure. Most recently, Google and Apple announced new alerts that would hit Android and iOS devices and alert users that their devices’ location is being connected to any location-tracking device.  

“With this new capability, users will now get an ‘[Item] Found Moving With You’ alert on their device if an unknown Bluetooth tracking device is seen moving with them over time, regardless of the platform the device is paired with,” Apple stated in its announcement. 

Companies Motorola, Jio and Eufy also announced that they would be adhering to these new standards and should release compliant products soon.  

Certainly, products like the AirTag and Samsung trackers that these companies have direct control over will now be more secure, and hopefully less ripe for abuse by a bad actor, but it’s far from a total solution to the problem that these types of products pose. 

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