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.

samsung smartthings tracker
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.

turn off airtags tracker stalking
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.

Related Forum: AirTags

Top Rated Comments

bwayne Avatar
17 months ago
I hope my dog doesn’t figure this out...
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macropanda Avatar
17 months ago
Im interested to see how they can tell the difference between someone putting a tag in my car and it being stolen and someone putting a tag in someones car and it stalking them.
Either way, the thief and victim will get some kind of alert and have the ability to turn it off?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gnasher729 Avatar
17 months ago
Makes total sense. A device travelling wherever I (or my phone) goes is either my device, and I should have told the phone about it, or it is someone else's device. I might have picked up someone's car keys by mistake, then I want to know. Or someone put a tracker on me, then I also want to know.

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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BootsWalking Avatar
17 months ago

I mean if you’re going to steal apples products you might as well also steal all their known features you forgot to add first
You mean like how Apple is stealing the idea of tags themselves fom Tile? The blinders are blinding.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
edk99 Avatar
17 months ago

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.
Probably if you are the owner and are traveling with it, it would not show up on other peoples phones as an unknown tracking device. It is only when the owner is separated from that tracker that it would show up.

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?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
17 months ago
I have to agree with other posters in this thread about this feature making it useless to track stolen items. If a thief steals my bag, for example, which has a tracker in it, after some time the thief's phone will notify them that a tracker is moving with them. Then the thief can go "oh ****" and find the tracker and toss it.

How does this not completely destroy one of the main use cases of these trackers?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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