Tile is following Apple's lead and addressing the potential use of its tiny devices to track people without consent.
In a blog post, the company made it clear it does "not condone" the use of Tile technology to track someone's location, and "to that end, if you ever feel concerned that someone could be tracking you, we now offer a feature that allows you to determine if that tracking could be through a Tile product."
Rolling out now to anyone with the Tile app, the new Scan and Secure feature lets users find unsolicited Tiles or Tile-enabled devices that may have been slipped into your bag or attached to your car.
Bluetooth, Location or Location Services, and Precise Location must be turned on for this to work; users will be prompted to change these or any other permission settings before starting. You'll need to move a certain distance away from your original location to initiate the scan. Just walking in circles around the house won't work, apparently.
All told, it can take around 10 minutes of uninterrupted time for the scan to complete, during which your phone will not enter its sleep state. Tile suggests avoiding public transportation or crowded spaces during the scan, lest it detect other people's devices instead of your own. Results appear in the app, alongside Safety Tips about what to do if a suspicious Tile is discovered. "Tile will work with law enforcement through a properly issued court order to identify the owner of a Tile suspected of being nefarious," the company promised.AirTag vs. Tile: Which Bluetooth Tracker Should You Choose?Life360 Buys AirTag Competitor TileFitbit and Tile Team Up to Locate Your Lost Fitness Tracker
This is just the first step in a long journey toward giving people more control over their safety. Tile is working with experts and advocacy organizations to develop more privacy features—including one that supports potential victims of intimate partner violence.
Competitor Apple recently landed in hot water following reports that its AirTag trackers enabled stalking and theft. Last month, the company introduced more granular notification settings and a warning to new users about using AirTags only for their intended purpose: tracking personal belongings.
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