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Cell Phone Tracking

 
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JackS
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Joined: Apr 09, 2004
Posts: 13
Location: Sinking Spring, OH, USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 1:43 am    Post subject: Cell Phone Tracking Reply with quote

Suppose person A knew person B's cell phone number. Could A track B without B's knowledge?
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lbendlin
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Joined: 02/11/2002 22:41:59
Posts: 11878
Location: Massachusetts, USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 2:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Person A would need to work at a Cellphone provider and have network access to the base station(s) that person B is booked in to.

Even then "tracking" is not exactly accurate, cells have a diameter of 500 meters to 12 kilometers (on average). You could improve that slightly with triangulation ( if person B is booked in to multiple cells or switching cells) but it's not good enough to be called tracking.

European police use this technology a lot to follow the approximate path of "surveyable" subjects.
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JackS
Occasional Visitor


Joined: Apr 09, 2004
Posts: 13
Location: Sinking Spring, OH, USA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But what about GPS tracking? Since my original post I came across this article where a person located his stolen cell phone by GPS:

http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=29&art_id=iol1129706994688A551

Isn't it supposed to be that all cell phones in the U.S. be trackable by GPS by the end of 2005?

Thanks.
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lbendlin
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Location: Massachusetts, USA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the theory. In reality only very few handsets have a built in GPS chip, and they predominantly use inferior chipsets. Some of that is alleviated by AGPS, but nevertheless the compliance with the E911 guidelines is rather miserable. Let's talk about this in a year or so.
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