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Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers

The information below is for an older version of this BOF request.
Document Type Proposed BOF request Snapshot
Title Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers
Last updated 2023-05-25
State Proposed
Responsible leadership
Send notices to (None)

Name: Detecting Unwanted Location Trackers


Location-tracking accessories provide numerous benefits to users (such as being able to figure out where they left their keys this time!), but can also have security and privacy implications if used without their knowledge or consent.

The proponents of this BoF have submitted draft-detecting-unwanted-location-trackers as a proposed solution in this space. The purpose of this BoF meeting is to discuss the draft and whether a working group should be formed for this work, or if the work should progress in another way. is intended to start discussion around the technical requirements and best practices to allow tracker manufacturers to build location-tracking accessories that will be compatible with unwanted tracking detection and alerts on mobile platforms.

While the proposal does include Bluetooth specifics, it is a more general proposal around best practices for policies, features, and rationale for prioritizing the development of features that are best for protecting users. IETF has many members and groups that have played a part in ensuring specifications are built with user safety and protection in mind, and IETF is an organization that is well-suited to discuss, debate, and refine this proposal.

The authors (from Google and Apple) have developed interest from across several other companies within the industry (Tile, Samsung, Chipolo, Pebblebee) and advocacy groups (NNEDV, CDT), but would like further discussion and input from the IETF community.

The goal is to develop mechanisms and practices so that tracker manufacturers can produce trackers that are universally compatible with unwanted tracker detection across all platforms. The intent is to use the feedback to improve the existing proposal and land an initial implementation, while continuing to learn and refine the document beyond 2023.

Fill in the details below. Keep items in the order they appear here.

Required Details

  • Status: WG Forming
  • Responsible AD: Roman Danilaw
  • BOF proponents: Brent Ledvina <>, Zach Eddinger <>
  • BOF chairs: TBD
  • Number of people expected to attend: 50-100
  • Length of session (1 or 2 hours): 2 hours
  • Conflicts (whole Areas and/or WGs)
  • Chair Conflicts: TBD
  • Technology Overlap: TBD
  • Key Participant Conflict: TBD

Information for IAB/IESG

To allow evaluation of your proposal, please include the following items:

  • Any protocols or practices that already exist in this space: N/A for unwanted tracking
  • Which (if any) modifications to existing protocols or practices are required: N/A
  • Which (if any) entirely new protocols or practices are required: draft-detecting-unwanted-location-trackers proposes a protocol that can run over Bluetooth, along with best practices
  • Open source projects (if any) implementing this work: N/A