What Are the Capabilities of Cell Phone Tracking Technology?

Cell phone tracking technology uses GPS, Global Positioning System, to pinpoint the location of a cell phone device. Most cell phone providers offer phones equipped with GPS. Law enforcement agencies use GPS tracking for safety and investigative purposes. The public typically uses GPS for navigation, although more parents are realizing they can track the location of their children using cell phone tracking.

Cell phones with GPS can either provide you with turn-by-turn driving directions or act as a tracking device. In order to use these features you must own a GPS-enabled cell phone that is capable of using programs such as Java. Speak with your cell phone provider about a plan that enables the full functionality of your phone’s GPS. In order for you to use your phone for tracking, you must have the right software provided by location-based services, know the phone number of the person you want to track, and have his permission to track him.

Location-Based Services:
Location-based services, also known as LBS, are offered through providers such as Accutracking, Mapquest Find Me, Sprint’s Mobile Locator and Wherify Wireless. When using LBS you must keep in mind that it is illegal to track a person’s location without his knowledge and consent. With LSB services you can keep track of friends, family and co-workers as long as you have their permission. Parents do not have to have permission to track their child as long as he is a minor.

Cell phone tracking technology provides useful functions for both the public and law enforcement officials. Parents can use GPS to locate their children and law enforcement officials have an increased chance of locating missing persons and investigating suspected criminal activity. Not everyone who uses GPS uses it for a good reason. A man in California was arrested for stalking his ex-girlfriend when he “put a mobile phone with GPS on her car which switched on when the car started moving and tracked her whereabouts minute-by-minute over the Internet,” according to www.silicon.com.

There are limitations to cell phone tracking technology, such as the fact that you cannot use a GPS-enabled cell phone as a tracking device unless you have “the right kind of cell phone, connected to the right network, with the right service,” according to www.travelbygps.com. Cell phone companies such as Sprint, Nextel, T-Mobile, Cingular and AT&T offer some of the best plans and cell phones that are capable of providing you with full-functioning GPS.

Cell Phone GPS Law:
When using cell phone GPS coordinates, authorities can locate a suspected terrorist within a 50-yard range. Law enforcement agencies cannot, however, track a person down simply because he is a suspected terrorist. Cell phone GPS tracking works like any other surveillance performed by law officials in that they must obtain a warrant from a judge in order to track someone without his consent.

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