Bluetooth trackers have been around for a while now, but it seems that it was only until Apple released the AirTag that privacy concerns about being stalked/tracked unknowingly are being talked about.
The good news for Android users is that you might not need to download a bunch of third-party apps in the future to be notified of a rogue Bluetooth tracker. This is because a report and an APK teardown by 9to5Google has revealed that Google could actually be looking to build a Bluetooth tracking detection system into Android itself.
This means that regardless of what phone you’re using or what apps you have, as long as it’s running on Android, you will have these tracking detection protections built into the platform natively. Based on the strings that Google has discovered, there are references to notifications that Android users could receive on their phone, like if an AirTag or Tile has been following them that does not belong to the user.
It also mentions a “Finder” device but it is unclear what that could be referring to. One of the reasons why Apple’s AirTag is so particularly effective is because unlike other trackers, it doesn’t rely purely on Bluetooth. Instead, the device sends out a constant ping that seeks out other Apple devices around it.
The location is then broadcasted to Apple’s Find My network, which is usually used to locate missing iPhones and iPads, thus allowing users to abuse the accessory to stalk other people. We’re not sure when Google plans on releasing this Bluetooth tracking detection feature, but it will be a welcome update.