iOS 17.5 to let users disable unwanted tracking accessories

Apple last year announced a partnership with Google to work on a new “industry specification to address unwanted tracking” after many concerns about stalkers using accessories like AirTags to silently track people. Now it seems that Apple is planning to launch these new anti-stalking features with iOS 17.5.

Detecting and disabling unwanted tracking accessories

9to5Mac has found evidence of these new anti-stalking features in the internal code of iOS 17.5 beta, which was released to developers on Tuesday. Strings added to the Find My app reveal that iOS will identify tracking accessories, even when they’re not Apple or Find My certified, and help users disable them.

“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,” reads one of the new strings.

The feature doesn’t seem to be enabled for beta users for now, but this is strong evidence that it may become available with the official release of iOS 17.5. Companies including Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, Eufy, and Pebblebee have expressed interest in supporting this technology.

At the time, Apple and Google said they would create a new universal system for iOS and Android to detect and alert users about unwanted tracking accessories. Currently, iOS is already able to detect unwanted Bluetooth location-tracking devices, but only when they’re Find My certified. The company also offers an Android app to detect AirTags.

More about iOS 17.5

iOS 17.5 beta 1 doesn’t seem to bring any significant changes, as we’ve only seen a few minor tweaks so far. Apple is likely to release iOS 17.5 to the public next month, as the company is also rumored to launch new iPads and accessories in May.

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