If most people were pressed into picking their favorite Smartphone feature, many would say it’s the GPS. Having GPS helps us from getting lost in different places, and can help you keep track of a family member if need be. I’m sure you can think of other uses as well.
Obviously if your Smartphone knows your location many other people as well have the potential to know where you are.
The NSA, advertisers, and app developers, and just about anyone else as well if you install a bad app, or are not mindful of your settings. This is why you have an option to shut off your Smartphone GPS.
That does not mean nobody can track you! Your cell phone provider has another method to track your location, and for a fee so can anyone else even if you’re not using a Smartphone. There is a website which will allow you to see where any phone is located using the same service carriers and app developers use.
Find the exact location of any phone
The way your cell provider tracks you is through cellular towers. It knows what towers are in range of your phone and, of course, it knows where the towers are.
From there it doesn’t take much work to narrow down your general location. The accuracy depends on the provider and how many towers are nearby.
You would hope your provider would keep this information to itself, but I’m sure you’re not shocked to find out it doesn’t. I’m not just talking about government subpoenas, either.
A company named LocAid partners with the major cell providers and makes it easy for app developers to access location information for their apps and services.
If you want to see how accurate your carrier’s location system is, try LocAid’s Instant Locate Demo. Just put in a phone number, respond to a text and you’ll see your current location on a map.
As I said above, the accuracy varies. When I tried it, AT&T put me exactly at my office
address. However, one of my employees tried it with Verizon and it put him at a random address a quarter mile south of the office.
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