Months after announcing, Google’s unknown tracker alerts are now rolling out to eligible Android handsets, informing users of illegal tracking by any Bluetooth-based GPS trackers.
Google and Apple have partnered on this program to make it an industry standard, effectively helping users to avoid illegal tracking. In Android 6+ devices, Google says users can detect, learn more and disable any suspicious trackers found through this alert system.
Unknown Tracker Alerts on Android
Tracking a person remotely is happening for both good and bad reasons today. While the tracker makers say it’s for the safety of your loved ones, perpetrators use them for spying and stalking. And with the advent of Apple’s AirTags, the digital tracking of a person has only materialised.
Well, to stop this, Google has come up with a new Unknown Tracker Alert system for Android that will help users detect any unknown trackers attached to them. Based on Bluetooth, the tracker will notify users of suspicious trackers upon detection and share measures to manage them.
This feature was first announced in the I/O event in May and is now being rolled out to Android 6.0+ devices. Once you’re shown a suspicious alert, you can tap on it to learn more about it, including a map of where it travelled with you and (in some cases) a serial number and info about the device’s owner.
Further, you can hit a “Play sound” option to make the device chirp to locate it better. And if it seems dangerous, the feature will even provide instructions on deactivating it. If you haven’t received any notification but are still paranoid about someone tracking you, you can always do a manual scan to check so.
Go to Settings > Safety & Emergency > Unknown Tracker Alerts, and select the “Scan now” button. The scan will take about ten seconds and shows any available trackers. Though this feature reduces the effectiveness of tracking a stolen item on a map, this is needed considering the rise of illegal tracking.