Building on its commitment to user security, Google has launched the much-anticipated ‘Unknown Tracker Alerts’ feature for Android users. This innovative addition serves as a safeguard against potential privacy breaches by notifying users if an unknown tracker has been placed on them or if someone else’s tracking device is detected in their vicinity.
Alerts for Unknown Trackers
Android users can now stay informed about any potential tracking attempts through timely alert notifications. These alerts not only signal the presence of an unidentified tracker but also notify users if another person’s tracking device has been detached from them and is being carried by someone else.
Easy Activation via Settings Menu
To enable this feature on your Android device, access the Settings menu and navigate to ‘Safety & Emergency’ for Android 12 and newer versions, or ‘Personal Safety’ for Android 11 or older versions. A dedicated ‘Unknown Tracker Alerts’ menu will be visible here, allowing users to activate this security enhancement.
Availability and Compatibility
Google is delivering this feature via Google Play Services to devices running Android 6.0 and newer iterations. Presently, it is accessible on Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy smartphones across the United States and various regions. Initially tailored to identify Apple AirTags, its capabilities are anticipated to expand to include other trackers shortly.
User Control and Privacy
By default, the ‘Allow Alerts’ option is activated, ensuring automatic tracker scans. Google emphasizes that disabling this option will halt automatic scans, although users can manually initiate a 10-second scan as needed. The feature respects privacy concerns as scan results are not stored, and the location data remains encrypted on the device, unshared with Google or third parties.
Utilizing the Tracker Alerts
Upon receiving a ‘Tracker Traveling With You’ notification, users can explore their travel history through an accompanying map. An option to emit a sound for tracking purposes is provided, which also notifies the device owner. Google guides users through essential steps, including capturing a screenshot of the map, as alerts are deleted after 48 hours. Instructions on deactivating the tracker by removing its battery are also provided.
Google’s ‘Unknown Tracker Alerts’ feature underscores the company’s dedication to user security and privacy. By offering real-time notifications and actionable steps, Android users can now stay vigilant against potential tracking risks while maintaining control over their personal data. This advancement sets the stage for a more secure and confident digital experience.