Apple, Google launch anti-tracking feature ‘DULT’

Apple, Google launch anti-tracking feature ‘DULT’

Anti-Tracking DULT

In an effort to prioritize consumer privacy, Apple and Google have introduced a novel function, “DULT” (Device Unwanted Location Tracking), aimed to identify and expose hidden Bluetooth trackers connected to mobile devices.

This collaboration underscores a united dedication to enhancing privacy protections for mobile device users. DULT scans for undisclosed Bluetooth connections and reveals their presence, preventing unauthorized access to users’ location data.

Officially announced on May 14, 2024, the function is present in Android versions 6.0 and above, as well as in the latest iOS 17.5 update. The joint project signifies a noteworthy departure from many years of competition, as the tech giants chose to leverage their respective strengths to improve user experience.

Users can easily maneuver between platforms and utilize various apps and services. This partnership heralds a potential new trend among tech companies, pushing the boundaries of user privacy measures and setting a new standard for device manufacturers.

When an unfamiliar Bluetooth tracker is detected, alerts will be sent with specific instructions on deactivating the device.

Apple and Google’s joint stride towards user privacy

This feature originated from the increasing misuse of tracking devices, such as AirTags, which led to lawsuits faced by Apple in October 2023.

A proposed solution to this issue, highlighted in a report titled “Abuse-Resistant Location Tracking,” emphasizes implementing an encryption method known as Multi-Dealer Secret Sharing (MDSS). This method involves trusted entities sharing location information, making it more challenging for unauthorized individuals to exploit these trackers.

The recent iOS update introduced the DULT feature and addressed 15 significant security vulnerabilities, enhancing user safety and privacy. Similarly, updates have been carried out in macOS to rectify several major issues. These fixes include a range of improvements and new features, addressing everything from technical glitches to increased accessibility for users with disabilities.

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This joint venture is a promising step towards a more secure and user-friendly global tech environment, potentially laying the groundwork for similar initiatives in the industry. As privacy concerns continue to heighten, these steps taken by the two tech giants could signify a critical shift in location tracker management strategies.


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