Law enforcement locating your position via mobile phone

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones' started by two_of_seven, Mar 26, 2011.

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  1. I was reading yesterday about bodies being found BBC News - Sian O'Callaghan: Police continue search for second body and couldnt help wondering:
    Can the police require the mobile phone companies to give them a list of where you have been recently, based on your mobile phone movements?

    Would this be based on triangulation, as in requiring "seeing the phone" from two phone masts, and probably less reliable, or can they get a GPS printout of your movements.

    From a non expert perspective, it would seem many crimes could be solved by simply checking the phone signals at relevant locations ? such as the one above

    Does anyone know, is it fairly common place, but just not advertised so much?
  2. I remember a story in the paper a year or two ago where someone caught speeding several times along a stretch of motorway was vindicated by his mobile phone bill - Can't remember in any great detail though. It could bring up a couple of top tips though - if you want an alibi, carry your phone everywhere. If you plan on raping anyone in the near future, leave your phone on the GNER.
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  3. When you get TomTom traffic information it's based on the speed of Vodafone handsets moving through a particular cell's coverage. So yeah, the system knows roughly where each phone is. The murderer Ian Huntley had his position fixed by his phone and this was taken as evidence. Seemingly individual vehicles can be tracked by their effect on the local cell network; bit like Russian subs being tracked by MAD.
  4. They can track your movements, and it takes place regularly enough for most large constabularies to have a member of staff who deals with the requests.
  5. It can give a rough position, and we're talking 'within X-km north of such-and-such a mast'! Utilised this a few times when dealing with high-risk missing from homes (after requesting all the various authorisations through the chain of command) and it gives a rough idea of where to start looking. I am certain the technology exists to pin point a phone but we would be talking information commissioner/HO approval and would be high priority/high level cases. It is not a regular occurrence for it to be used within a police incident.
  6. Yeah but we are not talking to within 1-3 metres here! And the force will have a SPOC (single point of contact) who sits in an office within information compliance or covert standards and is purely responsible for processing the application for mobile info. In a dynamic incident the duty Insp has to request authority which is then bumped up through the control room by their Insp to Supt and subsequently ACC/DCC level (IIRC).
  7. Cell ID triangulation has always been a feature of mobile phones.dependent upon cell size,it's possible to narrow an area to a few hundred metres,in cities,where cell sites are more dense.The cell site itself is equipped with GPS,mainly for timing matters,as the site position is known.In rural areas,cell sites are much further apart,and therefor the cell ID info,will provide a much larger area for phone positioning(several square kilometres)
  8. Some good answers here, by either method, triangualtion or GPS CHIP it would be possible.
    It does seem strange this technology is not more mainstream, it appears it has loads of practical uses, tho is infringement of civil liberties likely to be the reason its kept for big emergencies?
  9. It is already being done to an extent with the idea being parents can look where their little darling is or companys can trace employees in the field. LINKY
  10. Why pay for it, when if you have a smart phone, you can use Google Latitude for free.
  11. We also offer our expats a service whereby you can track them 24/7 on a PC, which is accurate to within less than 50m. Costs next to nothing too.
  12. Yes the police can request the information and by law the phone companies have to give it to them. As for the rest, case of simple location details (though not down to the square metre) but that suspect A was in this location at the time blah blah blah.
  13. Oh and it is common when a person is being investigated, in most cases where location has to be proved. Though if no clear suspect, then the police might ask for a record of mobiles in that location at the time they are looking at (which may be good if rural, but a nightmare if somewhere like London and completely pointless).
  14. Ever so slightly off thread, but the system can do more that just provide a location...

    It's called CopperEye