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Cell Phone Location Tracking
Old 05-04-2014, 06:15 PM   #1
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Cell Phone Location Tracking

Another question for the book I'm writing.

If you were to dial 911, then put the phone in someone's pocket, would the police be able to track that person and find him or her?
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Old 05-04-2014, 08:05 PM   #2
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I think only if they could hear something distinctive in the audio. The fanciest e911 service just tells them your pre-registered address. Beyond that, you have to tell them where you are.

However, you might be able to track the phone yourself if you had installed security software that is officially available. I think I have two paths to track my phone if it is lost. One via the Lookout security program (my normal anti-virus) and one via Android Device Manager (a Google system add-on). Both allow me to sign in online and see where my phone is on a map. Not sure it would be great in real time, but maybe you can fudge that part.
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Try this
Old 05-04-2014, 08:14 PM   #3
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Try this

Life360 allows you to track someone's cell phone...

Maybe that would be a solution?

https://www.life360.com/tour/
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Old 05-04-2014, 08:21 PM   #4
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Actually newer phones have gps so that they will provide coordinates: Here is a link to an FCC web site that has details: 911 Wireless Services | FCC.gov
It looks like 50 to 100 meter accuracy. It is doable without the police with a smart phone, just install the right app. Consider that you can buy an app that will report when a cell phone given to a teenager leaves a defined zone, so the answer is apparently yes. A website that cells one such app (no endorsement intended) Phone Tracker App - GPS Cell Phone Tracker App News and Reviews
So you might not even need to have 911 called, install the app and slip in the pocket.
There have been recent reports of folks whose phone has been stolen finding out where the phone is located and going there and demanding it back.
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Old 05-04-2014, 10:23 PM   #5
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I think only if they could hear something distinctive in the audio. The fanciest e911 service just tells them your pre-registered address. Beyond that, you have to tell them where you are. ...
No, audio has nothing to do with it. The pre-registered address info is for wired phones, like VOIP (ooma, vonnage and others).

From wiki:

Quote:
E911 Phase 1: Wireless network operators must identify the phone number and cell phone tower used by callers, within six minutes of a request by a PSAP.

E911 Phase 2
95% of a network operator's in-service phones must be E911 compliant ("location capable") by December 31, 2005. (Several carriers missed this deadline, and were fined by the FCC.[4])

Wireless network operators must provide the latitude and longitude of callers within 300 meters, within six minutes of a request by a PSAP.[5] Accuracy rates must meet FCC standards on average within any given participating PSAP service area by September 11, 2012 (deferred from September 11, 2008).[6]

Location information is not only transmitted to the call center for the purpose of sending emergency services to the scene of the incident, it is used by the wireless network operator to determine to which PSAP to route the call.
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:07 AM   #6
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Another question for the book I'm writing.

If you were to dial 911, then put the phone in someone's pocket, would the police be able to track that person and find him or her?
Terrestrial "GPS", which uses the cell tower communicating with the phone, other towers that might have recently picked up a 'ping' from the phone, and in denser coverage areas, the directional antenna/cell transmitter pair used on the tower will give an approximate location. In a city with dense coverage, this might be accurate to roughly 150-500 feet. In a rural area with an old phone this might be accurate to within a mile if only one omni tower has a signal. (Look up "Angle of Arrival" or "Time Difference of Arrival" for the hairy details of how the cell network can triangulate a phone position.)

Accuracy is improving with the rollout of the new E911 (Enhanced 911) rules, and improved E911 capabilities of handsets. A "Phase II" handset can transmit satellite GPS or "assisted GPS" location information.

911 Wireless Services | FCC.gov
Enhanced 9-1-1 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 05-05-2014, 08:38 AM   #7
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Another question for the book I'm writing.

If you were to dial 911, then put the phone in someone's pocket, would the police be able to track that person and find him or her?
Others above have given good descriptions of how phones can be tracked. But given the accuracy of location given to the police, I think the police will need more to go on - a description of the person or car they are in. There could be thousands of people within the accuracy radius of the location within cities, and the accuracy radius could be miles in remote areas. Police wouldn't know specifically what/where/who to concentrate their efforts on with only a general location.

I hope you're you're writing a fiction novel.
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Old 05-05-2014, 08:48 AM   #8
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You could set it up so that the police could determine that the guy is driving down a particular road, and based on his history of locations they could set up a roadblock down the road to nab the guy. Of course there would have to be a couple of unexpected turns and close calls before they finally caught him.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:00 AM   #9
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Here's the scenario:

A robber comes into a bar and holds a knife to the bartender's throat, and asks for the money in the till. A customer dials 911 on his phone, then disarms the robber and puts his (the customer's) cell phone in the robber's pocket.

The robber runs away, and the customer dials 911 on the landline, tells the police what happened, and the police track the bad guy and pick him up.

Plausible?
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:35 AM   #10
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Plausible unless the would be robber finds the phone and throws it into the back of a passing dump truck.
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Old 05-05-2014, 09:50 AM   #11
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Plausible unless the would be robber finds the phone and throws it into the back of a passing dump truck.
But the dump truck ends up making a pickup at the crook's hideout, just as the police arrive! That's about as plausible as some TV shows I've seen recently.

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Old 05-05-2014, 10:20 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Here's the scenario:

A robber comes into a bar and holds a knife to the bartender's throat, and asks for the money in the till. A customer dials 911 on his phone, then disarms the robber and puts his (the customer's) cell phone in the robber's pocket.

The robber runs away, and the customer dials 911 on the landline, tells the police what happened, and the police track the bad guy and pick him up.

Plausible?
Why is the dead robber running? Zombie no doubt.
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:41 AM   #13
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Why is the dead robber running? Zombie no doubt.
MRG
No, Silly, he's a time-traveling teenage vampire who's into S&M.
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:32 AM   #14
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Either way, this article suggests you can:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/womans...133100776.html

It's on Internet, has to be true.
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:50 AM   #15
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I had a friend who lost his phone, and used the Find My iPhone to locate it: under the big roller coaster at an amusement park.
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:47 PM   #16
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I had the cops show up at my house asking if there was a "Fuego" that lives here. Well, hey, that's my name! Turns out someone else who shares my first name used a cell phone from somewhere near my backyard to call 911 saying they were going to kill themselves. The cops had GPS coordinates that pointed them to my back patio.

I helpfully informed the cops that there's a subterranean culvert that runs underneath my back patio and the kid could have been hiding out down there making a call. We didn't see anything in the backyard so the cops went over the fence and investigated the underground tunnel. No dice, they didn't see anybody.
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Old 05-07-2014, 01:45 PM   #17
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Heh, heh, trust me to think about all of this in a different direction. Personally, I have the cheapest, non "I" phone on the planet ($10? several years ago). I'm sure someone could track the towers my phone "pings" (or whatever the tech-speak is). But as far as GPS, I guess I'd just as soon not have the police (or anyone else) be able to track my every move. I don't even think I have anything to hide. I just like a certain level of privacy - even if the down side is that the police might actually have to look for my crushed and burning car to find my accident following my 911 call. Call me paranoid (just 'cause you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get ya.) When it comes to such technology, I simply default to my tag line. As always, YMMV.
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:02 PM   #18
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Heh, heh, trust me to think about all of this in a different direction. Personally, I have the cheapest, non "I" phone on the planet ($10? several years ago). I'm sure someone could track the towers my phone "pings" (or whatever the tech-speak is). But as far as GPS, I guess I'd just as soon not have the police (or anyone else) be able to track my every move. I don't even think I have anything to hide. I just like a certain level of privacy - even if the down side is that the police might actually have to look for my crushed and burning car to find my accident following my 911 call. Call me paranoid (just 'cause you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get ya.) When it comes to such technology, I simply default to my tag line. As always, YMMV.
But of course there is a very simple way to solve the problem turn the phone off. I suspect even newer non smart phones have the gps technology since the FCC requires it. Eventually you will have to upgrade your phone because the cell provider will cease supporting the phone.
But since cell phones have voice mail, it does not hurt to have the phone off. When I travel (driving) I turn the cell phone off because I don't want to have to answer it while driving. If I need it, I can always pull to the side of the road and turn it on. (Plus my car has on-star so if it is car trouble you call them)
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:07 PM   #19
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But of course there is a very simple way to solve the problem turn the phone off. I suspect even newer non smart phones have the gps technology since the FCC requires it. Eventually you will have to upgrade your phone because the cell provider will cease supporting the phone.
But since cell phones have voice mail, it does not hurt to have the phone off. When I travel (driving) I turn the cell phone off because I don't want to have to answer it while driving. If I need it, I can always pull to the side of the road and turn it on. (Plus my car has on-star so if it is car trouble you call them)
You can use a cell phone to make calls?
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Old 05-07-2014, 06:05 PM   #20
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Personally, I have the cheapest, non "I" phone on the planet ($10? several years ago). I'm sure someone could track the towers my phone "pings" (or whatever the tech-speak is). But as far as GPS, I guess I'd just as soon not have the police (or anyone else) be able to track my every move.
Even the simple cell phones can be tracked using triangulation and propagation time measurements from the cell towers. Signal analysis automation can spot locations within the coverage of a cell where your phone might be, analyzing patterns such as multipath propagation.

This sort of location is cell network based and doesn't need any support from your handset. Location accuracy is 100 meters for 67% of contacts and 300 meters for 90%. The phone needs to be on, but doesn't need to be in use.

You might want to select your cellular provider based on what sort of records they retain and for how long.


https://www.aclu.org/cell-phone-loca...etention-chart
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