Is your cell phone transmitting your location, acting like a homing beacon for whomever may wish to listen in? Cell phone tracking versus location privacy are hot topics these days. Federal e911 (enhanced 911 communications for mobile devices) rules require that your cell phone carrier be able to provide your location information in the event that you initiate a 911 call, but some consumers are reporting that their GPS cell phones are transmitting this information all the time, not just when they dial 9-1-1.
The Treo 650, for example, offers you the choice of transmitting your location all the time, or only when you make a 911 call. Consumers are reporting that Verizon provisioned Treo 650s are defaulted to report their location back to the Verizon mothership at all times, not just during an e911 call. Fortunately for those users, at least those who care about this issue and figure out to look into it, they can change that by checking “enable location privacy” in their Phone Preferences.
Phone location privacy means that your GPS-enabled phone is not transmitting your location except during an emergency call.
Think it’s not something about which you really need to worry? I mean, who would bother to track you, anyways, and how easy could it be?
Well, within the past three weeks we’ve had two reports on these pages alone about GPS technology in cell phones being used to track people on a regular basis. The Wherify Wherifone is used for tracking kids, employees, and senior citizens, and TeenArriveAlive, while pitched as a way to monitor your teen’s driving, is really a GPS cell phone and Internet-based tracking software.
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So, does your GPS cell phone have a location privacy option, and is it enabled?
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