With the use of any cell phone, your location can be ascertained by your distance from three towers, a process called: triangulation.
This process of triangulation can and is used by law enforcement officials to find and apprehend criminals.
The more disturbing part, however, is that they aren't just looking for dangerous criminals...
Cell phone service providers have constantly evolving databases that log users information. What is the big deal you ask?
Profiles created from your constantly tracked whereabouts would be extremely telling.
Imagine someone knowing who you associate with the most, the places you go to eat, and where you go for fun.
So at this point you may be saying, “Well, without a warrant this information is not accessible...” Again this is not true. Law enforcement agencies do not need a warrant to request this information...
In a recent article by Catherine Crump it comes to light that a Sprint's electronic surveillance manager admits not only the existence of their user location database, but the ease of use that they grant to law enforcement agencies.
Sprint was receiving so many requests daily from agencies to access this info that they set up a simple to use website to make it easier and more efficient. Check out the full article.
Smartphones are even worse about betraying your location.
Not only do applications such as “Latitude”, make it easier then ever to be tracked, two of the biggest names are in on the game. Both Apple and Google were recently sued for the way they track your location information.
Apple tracks specific information and it was originally thought that Google anonymized this info. However, it was later found that Google adds phone specific tracking numbers in to their database while tracking. While this offense is not quite as bad as tracking IMEI or a user by their name, it is still very specific analytical data.
I for one am a hardcore smartphone user, and do not appreciate the big brother type tracking that I am subjected to for using a tool that many now consider a necessity. Even if big brother isn’t a factor, tracking and logging that kind of info which can be major hacker bait is just as troubling.
Please use this site to gain the knowledge you seek, and to get involved. Make sure the powers that be know that we are will settle for nothing less then the protection of our privacy.