We live in an age where everyone is carrying a tracking device in their pockets. No, it’s not a fancy device that you will have to invest in separately. You must be wondering then what it is?
Well, it is your cell phone. The smartphones that we carry everywhere with us in our pockets is one of the robust tracking devices that help people track down your exact location, whether or not the GPS is turned on.
The government, advertising agencies, and also the bounty hunters can track your location down without your knowledge. It means that even when your internet connection and GPS is turned off, your smartphone can be tracked.
The fact may sound like fiction to you, but it is not. If you have been hearing rumours about how you can be easily tracked, know that they are not rumours.
How Is It Done?
There is a team of at least four people who employ a security exploit for the process of tracking cell phones of an individual. They use a combination of the non-phone and phone information sources to track the location of a device. This suggests that if you are thinking that your location is secured, it may not be as expected.
The sensor data used in the exploit are typically employed to track fitness and other movement apps. That said, if you ever find a way to switch the sensors off just as we do with the GPS, you can prevent your location from being secretly tracked.
Another method or service that makes it possible is find-my-phone.org. The technology is pervasive to help people track location easily using a variety of methods.
A technique called PinMe is used which makes it possible for people to track the location, even if no hints about the same are being communicated. The data information that helps track the location of a device includes the time zone from where the device is being operated, and certain other information collected from the sensors such as the air pressure.
When the above collected information is mixed with the public and available information, like maps, the location of a device can be traced. The information required to track device’s location doesn’t require permission to be collected and also a small amount of data is collected and therefore it becomes virtually detectable.
No matter how hard a user tries not to allow any app to share their location, their precise location can be easily tracked using advanced technology. That said, it becomes a problem for people who want to hide their physical location for professional and personal reasons.
How Can the Government Track Your Location?
You should be aware of the fact that the government has authorities who can track your location. They can ask for the information from your cellular data provider and get all the required information. All they need to get is a warrant which can be submitted to the cellular company and when submitted to the cellular company, they will provide location info.
Besides the position, the cellular company can also provide real-time updates about you and your device to the government. However, for this to happen, a warrant is essential. Moreover, it makes perfect sense as well, since if there is technology to track the location, the government can utilize it to get access to the position of a user.
That said, technology has come a long way, since a few years ago, there was no such feature available that could help the government track real-time updates and your position as well.
If the government doesn’t want to, it cannot include the cellular company into the matter as well. There are several other tricks with the help of which the authority can pinpoint your position. Also, such tricks offer better accuracy as well. One of the methods to do this is by deploying stingray devices near you. These are the impersonate cellular towers that force your device to get connected to the towers.
How Is Location Tracked By Advertisers?
Well, it is not just the cellular company that can track your position. If you are of the notion that your cellular network is perfectly secured and that no one can track down the position of your device, know that advertising companies can easily track you down.
Advertisers can do that because of the location access that we usually give to the applications that are installed on our smartphone. You must have seen a lot of apps asking for position access and we allow them to access our location. This is how you can get tracked.
In particular, the weather apps do the most damage. After installing a weather app you are required to give permission to the app to access your place. Moreover, such apps are selling your data to the highest bidders in the market, and this is how they can track your position every time.
We are not paying the weather app anything and it makes money by selling data. So, you see there are several unexpected ways in which people can track the place down and use it for their purpose.
What Can be Done?
There is one thing that you can do to prevent this. Stop giving third-party apps the permission to access your position. That said, instead of using a third-party weather app, only rely on the in-built weather app of your phone. There are several apps that ask for your city and zip code only, and such apps are better than the ones that ask for location access.
Your Family Can Track Your Location
Your family can track the position of one of your family members through GPS. Several other services are available with the help of which we can track their position. For example, the Apple Find My Friends service on iPhone helps you to share tour real-time locations with friends and family. There is this live tracking feature on WhatsApp as well that allows you to share your live location.