While it’s no secret Apple and Google copy each other’s best features, it comes as something of a surprise that Google is working on an AirTag competitor.
Apple’s AirTag has been one of the company’s most controversial products, being called “the weapon of choice of stalkers and abusers,” with at least two stalking cases involving AirTags ending in murder. The company is currently facing a class-action lawsuit over the diminutive trackers.
Despite the controversy, Google apparently wants in on the action, and is reportedly planning to launch its own smart tracker, codenamed “grogu,” according to developer and leaker Kuba Wojciechowski.
Of course, one of the things that makes AirTag work as well as it does is Apple’s Find My network, which uses the installed base of Apple devices help pinpoint a device’s location.
According to Android Police, Google appears to be working on its own version of the Find My network, which would be a pivotal component to the success of an AirTag competitor.
Aside from the implications of yet another tracker that can be easily abused by stalkers, there’s also the inherent privacy concerns surrounding Google — of all companies — building yet more tracking technology. The company already hoovers up vast quantities of data, making the prospect of the company being able to collect even more tracking data less than appealing.
While following Apple’s lead is often a lucrative business, one can’t help but question the wisdom of Google following it in this specific direction, especially given the myriad of lawsuits Google regularly faces over privacy.