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Just how accurate is cell phone location tracking?

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posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 11:07 PM
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a reply to: scubagravy
Ha Ha every electrical device made in the last 3 or 4 years has this in




posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 11:08 PM
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Remember always, they can track your phone but that does not always mean, that they can track you.

They are becoming over reliant on this sort of technology. Leaving your phone in a cab can send them on a lovely little hunt, far away from where you are.

What they see as their strength can become their weakness in a heart beat.

P



posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 11:11 PM
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I also wouldn't be surprised to find out that the "couple yards" capability was the dumbed down for civilian use version.

Since smart phones have inertial sensors used for motion control and react rather wildly to small movements in terms of trying to figure out your directional orientation, and can usually sense a large number of wifi networks and cell towers- it seems that triangulating you down to the foot or even inch and tracking your every pace and turn would just be a matter of good enough coding, and wouldn't have to be a program on your phone but something somebody outside could do using meta data.

The only question is whether that would be useful and practical enough to actually be put into operation.

I can't imagine any very realistic uses for that level of tracking- unless they wanted to have a sniper shoot you through a solid wall or wanted to know for sure you weren't looking out the window as a swat team stacked up- but that just seems like overkill. Once there's a use for it though, it won't be long before you hear they have the capability.



posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 11:16 PM
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originally posted by: tothetenthpower

originally posted by: Tusks
When the phone is turned off, can it still be tracked?


Yes.

Without physically removing the source of power from the contacts, your phone is always technically 'on'. Pull your battery, then you're good.

As long as the current flows then the device can be accessed through a number of means.

~Tenth


It depends on the phone design. There's a difference between "idle", where you can receive a call but the phone's 'on the hook', and in that mode the system tracks your phone, and "off", where the phone's not doing anything at all. Some phones can be woken up in that mode, not by the cell tower because the radio receiver circuitry's powered down, but if the phone's compromised, it will wake up on a RTC interrupt and see if there's anything to be done. Maybe listen to the room, send a GPS coordinate or whatnot.

Some phone designs are easier to compromise than others. Some you can "update" from the tower. Others you have to get your hands on the phone for a few seconds.



posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 11:19 PM
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originally posted by: scubagravy
a reply to: MarlinGrace im in Australia, and I still use as a nokia that's about 12 years old, it messages, it calls, stopwatch, camera (which I don't use). I'm also not involved with facebook or instagram or any other crap, and im quite happy bout it.



If it was only that way here, would love to have an old phone. There is a thought, might be a good side business. Here in the US our electrical meters even listen.



posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 11:22 PM
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originally posted by: MystikMushroom
a reply to: tothetenthpower

I've heard that even that doesn't work -- as there is a tiny backup power source that keeps the clock/settings for you in case you need to swap batteries.


And there is, generally a little lithium thionyl chloride cell, but it's not capable of powering the phone. You've got one in your PC as well. Only good for a few mAh life, and it's rate limited for safety by the chemistry of the cell. Shorted out it's not good for more than a mA or two. The RTC only draws about half a microamp to keep the RAM settings and run the 32.768 kHz RTC reference clock.



posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 11:26 PM
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originally posted by: jinni73
a reply to: scubagravy
Ha Ha every electrical device made in the last 3 or 4 years has this in


Not at all. Considering you have to have some way to return the data to some collection point, phones are an ideal place to put them. But not, say, a toaster or TV.



posted on Sep, 28 2014 @ 11:30 PM
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originally posted by: The Vagabond

I can't imagine any very realistic uses for that level of tracking- unless they wanted to have a sniper shoot you through a solid wall or wanted to know for sure you weren't looking out the window as a swat team stacked up- but that just seems like overkill. Once there's a use for it though, it won't be long before you hear they have the capability.


Hey, you will WANT that level of tracking, we just have to sell it to you properly.

Haven't you had many instances of being lost inside a building? A hospital, or large office building, say, or a Mall. Well, no more, with the newer high-accuracy positioning I was talking about, we can give you something like "Maps" inside the building! Plan routes for you in the Mall! DIrect you to your car the most efficient way. Only Luddites will resist. Trust me, it's something you WANT. You just don't know it yet.



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 12:16 AM
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a reply to: Bedlam

Actually I DO see the above board uses for down to the inch tracking, just not the nefarious uses that would be of much practical utility to the government.

I know exactly how they'll sell it. You ask your phone where you left your car keys and it says "I heard you toss them down when you were standing directly in front of the microwave" or "i haven't sensed any metal in your pocket since you got off the recliner". Or you ask your wifi network which one of the kids broke the cookie jar and it says "well this morning little Johnny was standing right in front of it then he froze in his tracks for 1.2 seconds before sprinting out the back door, does that help? "



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 12:22 AM
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a reply to: The Vagabond

If you've got good enough tracking, it will be an advertising bonanza ala Minority Report.



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 12:36 AM
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originally posted by: generik
i'd say it is rather accurate. there is even a cellphone game Ingress that is reliant on accurate locations around the world to play.


I don't know much about this sector of technology, but I heard there are ways to know where your friends are at all times and such.

a reply to: The Vagabond

LOL
edit on 29amMon, 29 Sep 2014 00:37:47 -0500kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 12:41 AM
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a reply to: Bedlam

Haven't seen that film. I basically don't watch Tom Cruise movies. Scientology hasnt helped his cause but I've had that policy since Mission Impossible and whenever I break it I can't get past the fact that he only has three emotions- "my hair is wet" "my jaw is braced" and bemused.

Back on topic, while trying to figure out what advertising in the minority report must have been like I realised that predicting intent based on position and movement patterns is the latest thing in commercial security cameras and could be nefariously used in accurate enough cellphone tracking.

Smart cameras detect loiter times and movement patterns to figure out whether you're actually looking for something or just waiting for your opening to shoplift, among other things.

Similarly, good enough cell tracking could red flag your phone when you were shifting about nervously, it could track you in relation to other cells and figure out if you were following someone or maybe even if you were just looking in their direction a lot, it would know what seat of a vehicle you were in... etc. Imagine getting a ticket in the mail for loitering because your cell records say you were pacing around and acting shifty and not doing anything that fit the parameters of the place you were at- or worse, getting redflagged as a potential stalker and interrogated because your cellphone noticed you always go to the same Starbucks at the same time and take more than the prescribed number of glances over your shoulder at an attractive regular customer. They could literally dissect your every step and turn until it seemed suspicious enough to be probable cause.

When I think about it that way, if DARPA or the NSA isn't working on this it's only because of a failure of imagination on their part.



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 12:45 AM
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a reply to: tothetenthpower

My mom told me about that article the other day, and I was trying to look for it. Thanks for the link, Tenth.



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 01:02 AM
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a reply to: The Vagabond
Which could also be used in conjuction with WiFi Signals That Track People Through Walls which

transmits a low-power WiFi signal and uses the reflections that bounce back to track motion. It can monitor tiny movements every second, such as the rise and fall of a person’s chest, determining heart rate with 99% accuracy. The system is able to differentiate between up to four people and even if you’re in a closed room or hiding behind a wall, the signal will still reach you.


From MIT Multi-Person Motion Tracking via RF Body Reflections

Abstract– Recently, we have witnessed the emergence of technologies that can localize a user and track her gestures based purely on radio reflections off the person’s body. These technologies work even if the user is behind a wall or obstruction. However, for these technologies to be fully practical, they need to address major challenges such as scaling to multiple people, accurately localizing them and tracking their gestures, and localizing static users as opposed to requiring the user to move to be detectable.

This paper presents WiZ, the first multi-person centimeter-scale motion tracking system that pinpoints people’s locations based purely on RF reflections off their bodies. WiZ can also locate static users by sensing minute changes in their RF reflections due to breathing. Further, it can track concurrent gestures made by different individuals, even when they carry no wireless device on them.

We implement a prototype of WiZ and show that it can localize up to five users each with a median accuracy of 8-18 cm and 7-11 cm in the x and y dimensions respectively. WiZ can also detect 3D pointing gestures of multiple users with a median orientation error of 8−16◦ for each of them. Finally, WiZ can track breathing motion and output the breath count of multiple people with high accuracy.



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 01:13 AM
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a reply to: AllSourceIntel

SOCOM's got a handheld widget that does that, and has had for about five years. It'll give you a head count, respiration and heart rates of everyone in the room.

Your prize search term for tonight, though, is "visibuilding". It doesn't have anything to do with the main topic, but it's sort of in line with your post.



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 06:55 AM
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pretty accurate I'd say, only using GPS mode with my SII it can locate me down to under 5m accuracy including which direction I am facing coordinates and what not and this is a pretty old phone I'd imagine the new ones are even more accurate.

there's a mode that uses all 3 connections to track, it's safe to say that if they want to track someone they could track them while they are taking a dump and even calculate the speed the turd falls at.



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 07:15 AM
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That's why you get your smartphone pay as you go under a. alias



posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 08:36 AM
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a reply to: darkbake

When I read your title the first thing that popped in my mind "What are you planning?" haha



posted on Oct, 7 2014 @ 03:01 AM
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a reply to: Bedlam
OK LOL I was referring to Ipods & phones stuff like that.



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