Apple and Google's anti-stalking tech might be about to debut on your iPhone in iOS 17.5

Airtag
(Image credit: Apple)

Tracking devices like Apple AirTags are great pieces of kit but, unfortunately, in the wrong hands, these trackers can do more harm than good. With iOS 17.5, however, things could be about to change as Apple looks to introduce new additions to Find My to disable unwanted tracking devices.

In the internal code of the new iOS 17.5 betas, 9to5Mac has found indications that “new anti-stalking features” could be coming to 17.5 later this year. Details are scant but Apple might have finally unlocked the secret to stopping unwanted tracking once and for all.

Apple’s unwanted tracking solution

Since the AirTag launch in 2021 and the rise of other products like Tile, the best alternative to Apple AirTag, reports of stalking have been rampant. Last year, Apple announced a partnership with Google to address these concerns with a proposal “to help combat the misuse of Bluetooth location-tracking devices for unwanted tracking," and it looks like we could be about to see these come to fruition.

According to 9to5Mac, the strings in the Find My app read, “This item isn’t certified on the Apple Find My network. You can disable this item and stop it from sharing its location with the owner. To do this, follow the instructions provided on a website by the manufacturer of this item.”

While these strings don’t seem to be active in the beta just yet, this does hint that these security features to combat unwanted tracking could appear in the official iOS 17.5 release. With WWDC 2024 on June 10 and the likely arrival of iOS 18, we could see more from Apple and Google’s security partnership implemented into the upcoming software. These new additions would help alleviate anxiety around stalking and help keep iPhone owners secure despite the ever-evolving tracking technologies out there.

iMore reached out to Apple for comment.

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John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.

Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.

John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019. 

John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.