How To: Location Data and Mobile Phone Privacy

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GPS stands for Global Positioning System. Mobile phone GPS tracking is useful for certain things, such as for emergencies. As such, the FCC has instructed that wireless network providers provide the mobile phone GPS tracking location information for 911 calls which have been made by callers.

However, because cell phones track where an individual goes and stores this location data, privacy experts are concerned about who can access such information. These days, mobile phone location data is easily accessible to virtually anybody who wants to access it.

What is Mobile Phone Tracking?

Your mobile phone constantly emits a roaming signal, which determines which nearby antenna tower is the best to connect to. As you move, the mobile phone tower to which you are connected changes, switching to whichever one is able to provide the strongest signal. In this way it is possible to determine your approximate location if you keep your phone on your person.

In this way, most mobile telephones can be tracked via the Global Positioning Satellites network with ever increasing accuracy, meaning that you can be located at all times if you have your phone on you.

How You Can Stop Mobile Phone Tracking

There is only one surefire way to avoid being traced via your mobile phone, or to fool those who might follow you into believing that you are in one place, while you are in reality elsewhere: use your call-forwarding functionality.

You can purchase a second phone and configure your main phone to forward all incoming calls to your new phone. Then place the original phone in a safe location elsewhere.

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Jared Howe

Jared Howe is PRIVATE WiFi’s Senior Manager, Product Marketing Communications. Working in high tech for over 15 years, Jared currently lives in Seattle with his wife, daughter, and their two cats.