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The tracking of cellphones is an integral part of the cellphone design. The whole point about cell phones is that there is a network of radio masts, each responsible for a the signal over a small area (the cell), and the phone needs to be able to know which mast to talk to, and when to hand over to the next radio mast as the phone is carried from cell to cell. Thus the same technology that the network uses to identify which is the closest cell for the phone to communicate with can also be used simply to say geographically whereabouts (within which cell, and how close to the neighbouring cell) the phone is.
Additionally, your location can be pinpointed using triangulation of the cell /mobile phone towers. All phones in the USA (since 9/11) have built in GPS, to enable the government to track you - should they want.
You can also pay for a commercial company to track the phone of your child, husband...all you then do is log in to your account on the net and hay presto you can see exactly where they are, or more accurately where their phone is, in real time!
Quote from: paul.fr on 30/05/2007 10:20:33Additionally, your location can be pinpointed using triangulation of the cell /mobile phone towers. All phones in the USA (since 9/11) have built in GPS, to enable the government to track you - should they want.Triangulation, yes (that is inevitable since the system is trying to work out which mast is closest in order to know which you should use, and it can only do that if it tries to talk to you through all of the masts).The GPS thing sounds suspiciously like folk lore to me. Do you have evidence of this? The cost, including battery consumption, of adding GPS to a mobile phone would be substantial; and if the technology was already incorporated, then it would make sense for the phone companies to market it as a user feature (why pay hundreds of pounds for a separate SatNav system when you have already been sold one bundled into your mobile phone?).Quote from: paul.fr on 30/05/2007 10:20:33You can also pay for a commercial company to track the phone of your child, husband...all you then do is log in to your account on the net and hay presto you can see exactly where they are, or more accurately where their phone is, in real time!This is certainly true, and has also been incorporated into various anti car theft devices.
It is true! They have the tracking devices on the phones so if I wanted to find out where someone is....I put the information into the telephone and within seconds...I will know where you are...I know if I want to find out what song is playing, I can put the phone up to the speaker and it will text me the name of the song and who sings it
As far as i understand it, the GPS unit is not intended for the phone owner to use only to enable the phones location to be tracked. I agree with you George, that it does sound folk lore/ urban legend, but i got it from a reputable source...There are many things you can do, or rather have done to your phone. As with your computer you can get viruses that allow another person to listen in to your conversation, make calls from their phone that show on your bill and many more...this website http://www.traceamobile.co.uk/ is a major one in the uk for parents, employers to track the mobile phone of their kids, employees...incidently, you do not need to buy most devices such as satnav. you can get them as an application for your phone.
E911Short for Enhanced 911, a location technology advanced by the FCC that will enable mobile, or cellular, phones to process 911 emergency calls and enable emergency services to locate the geographic position of the caller. When a person makes a 911 call using a traditional phone with ground wires, the call is routed to the nearest public safety answering point (PSAP) that then distributes the emergency call to the proper services. The PSAP receives the caller's phone number and the exact location of the phone from which the call was made. Prior to 1996, 911 callers using a mobile phone would have to access their service providers in order to get verification of subscription service before the call was routed to a PSAP. In 1996 the FCC ruled that a 911 call must go directly to the PSAP without receiving verification of service from a specific cellular service provider. The call must be handled by any available service carrier even if it is not the cellular phone customer's specific carrier. Under the FCC's rules, all mobile phones manufactured for sale in the United States after February 13, 2000, that are capable of operating in an analog mode must include this special method for processing 911 calls.The FCC has rolled out E911 in two phases. In 1998, Phase I required that mobile phone carriers identify the originating call's phone number and the location of the signal tower, or cell, accurate to within a mile. In 2001, Phase II required that each mobile phone company doing business in the United States must offer either handset- or network-based location detection capability so that the caller's location is determined by the geographic location of the cellular phone within 100 meter accuracy and not the location of the tower that is transmitting its signal. The FCC refers to this as Automatic Location Identification (ALI).
The issue has become more critical as the number of 911 calls from cell phones exceeds those coming from landlines, according to public safety experts. The trend is expected to continue as more people opt to drop their landlines altogether.CTIA, the nation's top wireless industry lobbying group, reports that 230,000 911 calls are made from cell phones each day. The group also estimates that 8.4 percent of households are "wireless only."There is no doubt cell phones allow people to call for help from more isolated places, but public safety advocates and the wireless industry want people to understand the limits."People have to recognize it's not the wireline 911 system and never will be because you can only bend the laws of physics so much," said CTIA spokesman Joe Farren.Martin's effort comes in advance of a new study from the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials that will highlight the limitations of "enhanced" 911 systems."It's a misconception to think that when you dial 911 on a cellular phone that the person on the other end is going to know where you are," said Bob Smith, director of emergency communications. Smith said he worries about television dramas in which police are able to locate a person in distress down to within a few feet."The fact is, that can't always happen in real life," he said. "The technology doesn't exist in most places to allow that to happen."The location challenges stem from inherent limitations in how cell phones work and a decision the FCC made several years ago to allow manufacturers to use two different location technologies.Network technology uses cell phone towers to zero in on a caller through a process known as triangulation. But to triangulate, there need to be at least three towers near the caller, which is unlikely in rural areas.The second method uses satellite technology embedded in the phone. Rescuers use a geographical information system that guides them to the caller, often with great accuracy. While those phones are desirable in rural areas, they may be ill-suited in the urban canyons common to cities.Federal law and FCC rules require that providers using the network method should be accurate to within 300 meters -- that's about three football fields -- for 95 percent of calls and within 100 meters for 67 percent of calls.For the satellite method, responders must be guided to within 150 meters for 95 percent of calls and 50 meters for 67 percent of calls.The FCC does not do any independent testing to ensure compliance, but rather acts on complaints. For assurances on accuracy, they rely on the companies themselves.The flaw in the system is that carriers are permitted to use a large area, such as an entire state, to calculate their accuracy rate. Through averaging they may score well overall, but there may be gaps in some areas that are not addressed."It doesn't do any good for people in Buffalo and Albany if things are going well in New York City," Martin said.The Association of Public Safety Communications Officials has urged the agency to require that testing be done on a community- level basis and Martin agrees. He said he will ask the full commission to issue an order granting APCO's request.APCO also has asked that the providers share their accuracy data with rescuers, something else the chairman agrees with.Martin also said he will address the network-versus-handset technology issue, something that may have a profound effect on the makers of the nation's 200 million-plus cell phones.
In 2000 the FCC issued an order requiring wireless carriers to determine and transmit the location of callers who dial 9-1-1. They set up a phased program: Phase I transmitted the location of the receiving antenna for 9-1-1 calls, while Phase II transmitted the location of the calling telephone. The order set up certain accuracy requirements and other technical details, and milestones for completing the implementation of wireless location services. Subsequent to the FCC's order, many wireless carriers requested waivers of the milestones, and the FCC granted many of them. As of mid-2005, the process of Phase II implementation is generally underway, but limited by the complexity of coordination required between wireless carriers, PSAPs, local telephone companies and other affected government agencies, and the limited funding available to local agencies for the conversion of PSAP equipment to display the location data (usually on computerized maps).These FCC rules require new mobile phones to provide their latitude and longitude to emergency operators in the event of a 911 call. Carriers may choose whether to implement this via GPS chips in each phone, or via triangulation between cell towers. In addition, the rules require carriers to connect 911 calls from any mobile phone, regardless of whether that phone is currently active. Due to limitations in technology (of the mobile phone, cell phone towers, and PSAP equipment), a mobile caller's geographical information may not always be available to the local PSAP. Although there are other ways, in addition to those previously stated, in which to obtain the geographical location of the caller, the caller should try to be aware of the location of the incident for which they are calling.In the U.S., FCC rules require every telephone that can physically access the network to be able to dial 911, regardless of any reason that normal service may have been disconnected (including non-payment). On wired (land line) phones, this usually is accomplished by a "soft" dial tone, which sounds normal, but will only allow emergency calls. Often, an unused and unpublished phone number will be issued to the line so that it will work properly.If 911 is dialed from a commercial VoIP service, depending on how the provider handles such calls, the call may not go anywhere at all, or it may go to a non-emergency number at the public safety answering point associated with the billing or service address of the caller. Because a VoIP adapter can be plugged into any broadband internet connection, the caller could actually be hundreds or even thousands of miles away from home, yet if the call goes to an answering point at all, it would be the one associated with the caller's address and not the actual location. It may never be possible to accurately pinpoint the exact location of a VoIP user (even if a GPS receiver is installed in the VoIP adapter, it will likely be indoors, and may not be able to get a signal), so users should be aware of this limitation and make other arrangements for summoning assistance in an emergency.In March 2005, commercial Internet telephony provider Vonage was sued by the Texas attorney general, who alleged that their website and other sales and service documentation did not make clear enough that Vonage's provision of 911 service was not done in the traditional manner.In May 2005 the FCC issued an Order requiring VoIP providers to offer 9-1-1 service to all their subscribers within 120 days of the Order being published. The order has set off anxiety among many VoIP providers, who feel it will be too expensive and require them to adopt solutions that won't support future VoIP products.
OK, having looked up various sources, it seems I was wrong (yes, it does happen )).
Firstly, the phone locatiopn capability is suppedly only sent along with 911 calls (as indicated by Karen), and even then, apparently can often be disabled.
Quote from: another_someone on 31/05/2007 23:55:42Firstly, the phone locatiopn capability is suppedly only sent along with 911 calls (as indicated by Karen), and even then, apparently can often be disabled.I know i run the risk of sounding like a conspicary nut, but i like the word "supposidly". I have my own feelings about this, but would hate to have another conspiracy topic going.
although modern cell phone base stations (particularly in crowded urban areas) tend to segment up the cells by using directional aerials anyway, so at least some degree of directionality is possible.
I know computers can use this technology but how does it work and also, can it track where a cellphone user is?
It amazes me that criminals are daft enough to use the same phone all the time. You can buy a new phone every day for not many quids and no one would ever trace you on pay as you go.Not a bad investment for a multi million pound scam.