Following last month's announcement, Google is rolling out the ‘Unknown Tracker Alerts' feature to Android users. Thanks to this alert notification, Android users will know if someone has placed an unknown tracker on them. Also, the unknown tracker alert will be sent when someone else's tracking device is separated from them and is found to be traveling with another person.
To know whether the system is running on your Android device, you need to head over to Settings > Safety & Emergency (on Android 12 and newer OS) or Personal Safety (on Android 11 or older). Here, Android users will see a new menu for ‘Unknown Tracker Alerts'. Google is rolling out this new feature via Google Play Services on devices running Android 6.0 (or newer versions).
The tracker alerts will automatically be deleted after 48 hours
According to 9To5Google, the feature is currently live on Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy smartphones in the US and other regions. As of now, it only works to detect Apple AirTags. However, that is expected to change in the near future. Notably, the ‘Allow Alerts' option will be enabled by default, with Google reminding you that if you turn this feature off, “your phone will no longer automatically scan for trackers that are traveling with you.”
Furthermore, previously deleted trackers will be immediately deleted. Users can perform a 10-second manual scan at any time, and these scan results won't be saved. Google specifically notes that even though trackers could appear during a normal scan, that doesn't mean they have been traveling with you. As per the official Android support page, your location data is encrypted on your device and is not shared with Google or other parties.
Once you tap the ‘Tracker Traveling With You' notification, you will be shown a map to view your travel history. You can play a sound to track it, which will also notify the owner. Pressing the ‘Next Steps' option gives you different safety instructions on what to do if you have been tagged with a tracker, which includes taking a screenshot of the map since tracker alerts are deleted after 48 hours. You will also find instructions on how to turn off the tracker by removing the battery.