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  1.    #1  
    Hi Everyone,

    I really dont have a clue here, but after reading a few articles today about how cell phones can be tracked, initially by police for emergency 911 location, but now also by family members or employers via pc based software, I am curious as to whether or not our new toy has a gps chip in it, and whether or not it can be tracked.

    I am unsure whether or not I want anyone with a program on thier pc to know where I am......

    All comments would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Snowracer; 12/01/2004 at 10:53 PM.
    Jeff
  2. #2  
    Sure it does. If the GPS is enabled, you will see a crosshair on the top of the screen. If you want your location to be hidden from everyone except e911, you can disable location in the phone menus.
  3. #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by ericshmerick
    Sure it does. If the GPS is enabled, you will see a crosshair on the top of the screen. If you want your location to be hidden from everyone except e911, you can disable location in the phone menus.
    Cool, I'd like to track my two teenage kids. How do I do this?
    Nobody Died when Clinton Lied!!
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by JustMike
    Cool, I'd like to track my two teenage kids. How do I do this?
    You can't. It's for 911 use and is only functional for them at the moment, even so it's still kinda shaky and inaccurate, but a requirement nonetheless.
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    #5  
    I believe E911 uses proximity-based location by triangulation from relative strengths of towers to obtain positioning. There may be a chip also to aid in providing this information, but as I understand it, there is no physical GPS receiver in the Treo 650. Some cell phones are GPS-equipped, but I don't think that includes the 650.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by alee
    Some cell phones are GPS-equipped, but I don't think that includes the 650.
    Or any other Sprint phone for that matter
  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by ericshmerick
    Sure it does. If the GPS is enabled, you will see a crosshair on the top of the screen. If you want your location to be hidden from everyone except e911, you can disable location in the phone menus.
    I would like to know how to disable this function if someone could tell me how, I looked through the instructions and couldnt find anything.

    As well, does disabling the location disable anything else?

    Thanks for the quick reply.
    Jeff
  8.    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowracer
    I would like to know how to disable this function if someone could tell me how, I looked through the instructions and couldnt find anything.

    As well, does disabling the location disable anything else?

    Thanks for the quick reply.
    I found it folks:

    press:
    Phone/send
    menu
    options
    phone preferences
    enable location privacy

    I do not know if disabling the location disables anything else....
    Jeff
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowracer
    I found it folks:

    press:
    Phone/send
    menu
    options
    phone preferences
    enable location privacy

    I do not know if disabling the location disables anything else....
    It will still do everything it would if it were enabled... just takes away the silly icon 911 can still target your location though, if you call in.
  10. #10  
    When the Location Services for Sprint phones are disabled (crosshair with line through it) only 911 should be able to find you using triangulation - calculation on the police/sprint side of how strong your signal is based on three of the closest towers. This method is accurate to about 100 feet (don't quote me on that numbers, its close though).

    When Lication Services are enabled you should be able to use Sprint services which give information based on your location such as closest restaurant, closest police station, closest gas station. These services have not yet been launched by Sprint.

    Therefore at this point location privacy on or off both are the same thing, the police can find you in case of emergency.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowracer
    and whether or not it can be tracked.
    Sure. I'm watching you right now

  12. #12  
    For all those interested, I work for a company that provides such tracking services. That said, I'm not the foremost expert or anything, but I probably know more than most people would ever care to.

    Here are some facts and fictions:
    1. Currently only the Nextel network has opened up GPS to developers. If you watch a lot of Sunday football you'll see the commercial with the 2 people dancing in an office and another holding a boombox. It's a great commercial (okay that isn't so much a fact, but my opinion) advertising their GPS capabilities.

    2. If are worried about being tracked by any of these services, you shouldn't have any money in a banking institution in the USA. First, these services don't work unless you sign up for them and specifically configure your phone to send your location to the services. The services can't just say, "I wonder where 555-555-4535 is today." Unless, of course, that number has signed up, configured their phone properly, and is sending the location over the Internet to the service. Secondly, even if you do take these steps, the services you subscribe to should have SSL (that lock on your browser) that banks have. If it doesn't, don't sign up with that service.

    3. I'm 99.99% ericshmerick is wrong with his second post. No one can see the location on the Treo line of phones UNLESS they are e911. If you disable it in your phone, even e911 can't see you. At least that was my take on it. Otherwise there would be no effect to disabling it as only e911 can see you in the first place. Probably best to check your manual to be sure.

    4. If you did want to track your teenage daughers there are quite a few services based on Nextel's network. They'd have to get a Nextel phone with the GPS capability inside of it. I work for a specific service that specializes in that, but in the interest of being unbiased I'll let you do research on your own or you can PM me and I can help you further.
  13.    #13  
    Thanks Everybody. I have learned so much from this forum, and today I can add some more to my knowledge base. What happened was I saw something on CSI/NY last night, where the team found some dude by running software on thier computer and it pinpointed his location, so I did a google for cell phone tracking and came up with tons of stuff to read, afterwards thinking I will ask all the gurus at TC.com. I am unsure, because I could find only one company in the UK that required me to sign up to get more data, that said they had software to track cell phones, but the whole thought just made my skin crawl. Sure, someone knows if I am in Milwaukee if I use an ATM, or my credit card, but to have my employer watch me and track wherever I go made me wonder if that could be done. Not that I go places they dont want me to, but it made me think. Thanks.
    Jeff
  14. #14  
    Some employeers require their employees to carry phones that they have set up to track employees. This is generally called fleet management. It's extremely useful to send the closest cable technician to a home or something. Most of the time (I'd say 98%) it's known by both parties that the software is on the phone. The other 2% or so, you might want to be suspicious of if your employer gives you a phone, requires you keep it on and it's on the Nextel network.
  15. #15  
    I talked to a company at the roadshow in DC that had an app where they can actively mangage a 650 from a central site and look a to the moment things like battery life, call log, applications, etc. I asked if when the carriers turned on GPS if it would show you the location of the phone and he responded yes. This is an enterprise application and I doubt that it is cheap, but it can be done if the carriers make it accessible.
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by bmacfarland
    3. I'm 99.99% ericshmerick is wrong with his second post. No one can see the location on the Treo line of phones UNLESS they are e911. If you disable it in your phone, even e911 can't see you. At least that was my take on it. Otherwise there would be no effect to disabling it as only e911 can see you in the first place. Probably best to check your manual to be sure.
    Actually, I'm 99.99% sure that's not true. e911 is enabled no matter what. That's the regulation. Turning location off only turns off other services that use the location ability (which neither Sprint or any other carriers except Nextel offer). So, right now, on or off doesn't really matter.

    Also, the Sprint e911 capability does include a GPS receiver, but it's not a full-blown receiver. It uses one or two satellite fixes and combines that with triangulation to find your position. But it can't do a fix on its own and it does not work with any applications designed for a full-blown GPS receiver.

    -Brian
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowracer
    Thanks Everybody. I have learned so much from this forum, and today I can add some more to my knowledge base. What happened was I saw something on CSI/NY last night, where the team found some dude by running software on thier computer and it pinpointed his location,
    It's possible but only as a matter of triangulation and the phone has to be both on and of a GPS type. Most of the GPS enabled phone's don't have the capability of reading the GPS Sats circling the earth so if your out in the boonies where there is no cellular towers then GPS won't work for e911.
    Moose Man
    Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
    iPhone 3G, Treo 750, 680, 650, 600 and T5, T3, T, M515, M505, Vx, V, Prizm, Visor, IIIc, IIIe, Palm Pilot Professional, Palm Pilot (ok boys and girls a whopping 128k of memory - those were the days) and former Palm Beta tester.
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by bkrodgers
    Actually, I'm 99.99% sure that's not true. e911 is enabled no matter what. That's the regulation. Turning location off only turns off other services that use the location ability (which neither Sprint or any other carriers except Nextel offer). So, right now, on or off doesn't really matter.

    Also, the Sprint e911 capability does include a GPS receiver, but it's not a full-blown receiver. It uses one or two satellite fixes and combines that with triangulation to find your position. But it can't do a fix on its own and it does not work with any applications designed for a full-blown GPS receiver.

    -Brian
    Agreed, e911 is enabled no matter what. I read the Fed's regulations on this sometime back and it's not to be disabled by the user.

    I would also say that the GPS receiver is a function of the phone and not all of them have them yet. I believe that all phones sold in 2006 are required to have a minimum e911 ability.

    Most true GPS receiver's for public use will read up to 12 satellites to determine location and since there are only 2 Sats that are geo-Stationary in the North America Region (#47 and #35) having a phone that's going to have all of the sats positions at or during any part of the 24 hour period based upon their orbits would suck up bandwidth on the phone and memory unnecessarily.
    Moose Man
    Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
    iPhone 3G, Treo 750, 680, 650, 600 and T5, T3, T, M515, M505, Vx, V, Prizm, Visor, IIIc, IIIe, Palm Pilot Professional, Palm Pilot (ok boys and girls a whopping 128k of memory - those were the days) and former Palm Beta tester.

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