Friday, 1 April 2011

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

How would you like to be tracked today? Not just from home-to-office but everywhere.

Then, after work to the pub to have a bevvy-or-two, before arriving home with the excuse "sorry darling I had a late business appointment".

The tracking was not just during the day; it continued throughout the evening. They know exactly where you were. Every single one of those 1,440 minutes.

"They" also know how many phone calls you made; how many were incoming and how many were outgoing; how long you were on the phone; how many texts you sent and received. They even know you surfed for 2 hrs 24 minutes.

Did you enjoy the visit to the Theme Park last week? That 'Business Trip' to London - was it successful?

I realise my opening question asked how you'd mind a day of being tracked, but would you hold the same opinion if it was for a week? How about a month? Would you get paranoid if it was for all 525,600 minutes of the year?

Malte Spitz discovered he'd been tracked continuously for 6 months. The curious can follow his every location during that period from that link. But then he's lucky, because he's German.

For us in the UK, our network operators retain customers' historical locations for 12 months. And despite the date, it is NOT a wind-up.

Thanks to The Register.

Joe Public


English Pensioner said...

So far I don't have a mobile phone, in spite of my daughters' telling me that I should! One of the pleasures of retirement was to get away from the phone, so even if I had a mobile, it would be switched off unless I wanted to use it!
Actually, because my trusty PDA has gone on the blink, I might be forced to get a phone to replace it, but it must be capable of holding several databases/spreadsheets and my family history research as well as the usual addresses, etc., and of course be PAYG! So far, all that I have learnt from visits to local phone shops is that they appear to be staffed by idiots and that I would need an "Ap"!

Michael Fowke said...

Maybe they want to keep an eye on criminal types.

I suppose if a criminal wants to fool the authorities, he/she could just leave their mobile on in their house while they go out and commit a crime.

Demetrius said...

OK, if they are so good, then where in blazes are my best socks?

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

If we are truly in the age of Big Brother then we have another condemnation to consider.

Namely, if they do have all this information in their data bases why do they only use it for their negative purposes and not in a positive way to measure the effects of their actions on the general public?

Or would that be too damning?

Joe Public said...

@ EP 12:17

Your 'trusty PDA' - it sounds as useful as the irreplaceable Psion.

If it was a Psion, I've still got a 5MX which is used nearly every day. And there's still nothing that'll do what that does in the way it does it.

Joe Public said...

@ MF 13:08

Sadly, 'they' want to keep an eye on everyone.

Joe Public said...

@ Dem 14:50

There are two ways to find your socks:

1. Consult the Tracking Log, and back-track until you stumble across them.

2. Turn on the phone's camera, and insert it in the washing machine (and dryer - if you have one). Errant sock(s) inevitably hibernate in there. Maybe even one in each!

Joe Public said...

@ C&RAP 14:55

Both too damning, and, too easy.

Why do you think the census form instructs you to enter the address & post code of your workplace. "So that roads can be planned to better meet commuters' needs."

Far better to count the traffic, or, aggregate the phone tracking logs.

John McClane said...

Nowhere to run... one of my favourite tunes. 1966 or thereabouts. What a shame it's associated with such a nasty little piece of voyeurism as GSM data tracking. Not blaming you for that association. Do you suppose I could ring T-Mobile and say, I'm lost, where am I?

Joe Public said...

@ MDM 19:48

According to the article in The Register "As long as the process is expensive there seems little to fear; the police will only use it for serious crimes."

But that could be based upon misinformation, to lull some into a false-sense-of-security.

Anonymous said...

I think that this is just another silly scare being put about by the powers-that-be. Think of the billions and billions of texts etc which occur minute by minute. How many people would be required to monitor this traffic, or indeed, backtrack in order to find specific bits? The idea is nonsense.

However, The position of a person's mobile can be ascertained, if that mobile is specifically identified, as we saw with the missing girl recently. As usual, the public is led astray with ideas that everyone can be traced.

In any case, what is to stop criminals using stolen mobiles? What could be simpler?

Joe Public said...

@ Junican 03:23

It is simply a phone's unique identifier that enables it to be tracked. Messages & texts aren't recorded.

That geolocation data is held not on the phone, but registered with the local cell tower.

There's nothing to stop criminals using a stolen mobile; but if they're then caught with that mobile, its position can be back-tracked.

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