Samsung SmartThings Update Aims to Prevent Tracker-Based Stalking
Ahead of Apple's "Spring Loaded" event later today, Samsung has announced an update to its SmartThings Find platform that can scan for unknown Galaxy SmartTags and other Tile-like trackers nearby and alert the user if one appears to be moving along with them in their vicinity.
Called "Unknown Tag Search," the anti-stalking feature aims to detect if someone has slipped a SmartTag into the user's bag or vehicle and is surreptitiously tracking their location.
iOS and iPadOS 14.5 beta 3 includes a similar Find My feature called "Item Safety Feature" that helps prevent someone from stalking or tracking you with item trackers such as Apple's rumored AirTags.
With the feature enabled, the user's iPhone can tell if someone has placed an AirTag or other Find My-compatible item tracker on their person and can prevent your location from being shared.
In a related discovery, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser last year found code within iOS 14.3 beta 1 that states, "If you feel your safety is at risk due to this item, contact your local law enforcement. You may need the serial number of this item."
In its announcement today, Samsung also explained that its Bixby voice assistant can now be used to find SmartTags based on their custom name and direct the user to their location with an audible alert. Apple's Siri is likely to offer similar functionality with AirTags.
Apple has already opened up its Find My network for third-party accessories makers to take advantage of ultra-wideband technology in Apple devices. Under the network, accessory makers will tap into the Find My ecosystem, allowing customers to track their items on their iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
AirTags have been rumored to be launching for months now, and the most recent hope is that they will be unveiled later today during Apple's "Spring Loaded" virtual event. The event kicks off at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time via a live stream on Apple's website and YouTube channel.
If you can't watch the live stream, you can follow along for full coverage of all of the announcements from the event on MacRumors.com or follow us on Twitter at MacRumorsLive for our live tweet coverage.
Top Rated Comments
Either way, the thief and victim will get some kind of alert and have the ability to turn it off?
I wonder how clever it is to figure out that when I'm on the train, the passenger besides me could have a completely legitimate smart tag on them which is of no concern whatsoever. But hard to distinguish.
The question is how are SmartTags and AirTags going to work if I have an iPhone and someone puts a SmartTag tracker on my car. is the iPhone going to tell me there is an unknown tracking device traveling with me?
How does this not completely destroy one of the main use cases of these trackers?