Unknown tracker alerts, which we announced at I/O 2023, are beginning to roll out to Android 6.0+ users this month. Here are three ways this new feature helps keep you safe from unwanted Bluetooth tracking on Android.
1. Get automatic alerts for unknown trackers
With unknown tracker alerts, you will get notified on your compatible Android device if an unknown Bluetooth tracker is separated from its owner and is determined to be traveling with you.
You can tap the notification to learn more about the tracker and view a map of where the tracker was seen traveling with you. You can also tap “Play sound” and the tracker will make a noise to help you locate it without the owner of the tracker knowing.
Unknown tracker alerts currently work with Apple AirTags. We'll continue to work with tag manufacturers to expand this important protection to other tracking tags over time through our joint industry specification.
2. Take action on an unknown tracker alert
After you receive an alert, you can learn more about the unknown Bluetooth tracker and get tips on how to take action.
When you bring the device near the back of your phone, some Bluetooth trackers may share their serial number or additional information about the owner of the device, like the last four digits of their phone number.
You can also learn how to physically disable the Bluetooth tracker completely, so the device will stop the owner from receiving future location updates from the tracker.
3. Manually scan your surroundings
Sometimes, you may want to check your surroundings for trackers on your own without waiting for an alert. We built a manual scan feature so you can check if there are any trackers nearby that are separated from their owners.
To do this, go to Settings → Safety & emergency → Unknown tracker alerts and tap the “Scan Now” button. Your device will take about 10 seconds to complete a manual scan, and then you’ll see a list of trackers that are currently determined to be near you and separated from their owner’s device. You can get tips on what to do next by tapping the listed tracker.
Find out more information about how Android keeps you safe
We care deeply about your safety, which is why we made sure to gather feedback from users, privacy and advocacy groups, and device manufacturers to help inform us as we designed unknown tracker alerts. We are committed to continuously working to improve how unknown tracker alerts work to help keep you safe on Android.
For more information about unknown tracker alerts and compatible Android devices, you can visit our help center.
An update on the new Find My Device network
We also want to share an update on the launch status of our new Find My Device network, which we announced at I/O 2023 as coming this summer to Android. These new Find My Device features will help you locate your missing belongings like headphones, phones, and other everyday items (like luggage and keys) using a range of new third-party Bluetooth tracker tags.
User safety and the prevention of unwanted location tracking is a top priority for Android. We are working in partnership with Apple to help finalize the joint unwanted tracker alert specification by the end of this year. At this time we’ve made the decision to hold the rollout of the Find My Device network until Apple has implemented protections for iOS.