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That device in your pocket? Police use it to track you

Grower13

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(RNN) - New information from the American Civil Liberties Union indicates that cell phone tracking is commonly used by local law enforcement agencies across the country, often without obtaining warrants or showing probable cause.
"What we have learned is disturbing," said Catherine Crump, staff attorney for the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project.
In August 2011, the ACLU sent public records requests to nearly 400 police agencies across the U.S. Of the 200 who answered so far, just 10 said they don't track cell phones for investigations.
The remaining agencies made it clear that there are no national or even state standards for obtaining cell phone records, and very little, if any, oversight from the courts.
Six agencies said they required a warrant and probable cause to track phones. The remainder used varying standards to determine whether they needed a warrant or probably cause, or they used lower standards altogether.
"The fact that some law enforcement agencies do get warrants shows that a probable cause requirement is a completely reasonable and workable policy, allowing police to protect both public safety and privacy," Crump said.
In North Carolina, 52 agencies responded to the ACLU's request. A majority of these left it unclear as to whether they used tracking or not, but 27 admitted they engaged in some form of the practice.
The Chatham County Sheriff's Department told the ACLU they got real-time GPS tracking records from phones based on the "reasonable suspicion" standard. The standard is significantly lower than probable cause, using a number of inferences derived from the facts of a case to justify tracking phones.
The Wilson County Sheriff's Department obtains court orders for historical cellsite or signaling information when the information is "relevant to an ongoing investigation," a standard even lower than the one utilized in Chatham County.
"These findings raise tremendous privacy concerns for individuals all across North Carolina," said Katy Parker, legal director of the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation. "In order to preserve Americans' constitutional right to privacy, the government should have to obtain a warrant before tracking people's cell phones."
Of the 10 agencies that said they didn't track phones, five were in New Jersey. Of the 46 Garden State agencies that responded to the ACLU's request, 27 said they engaged in some form of cell tracking.
"While New Jersey residents have widely embraced cell phones for the convenience they offer on a daily basis, they have also given the government an unprecedented ability to monitor people's movements by tracking the geographical location of their cell phones," said Bobby Conner, an attorney for the ACLU New Jersey's Open Governance Project, when the requests went out.
The remaining 14 responses were ambiguous as to whether they used tracking or not, or refused to disclose whether they did.
Cases revolving around the constitutionality of warrantless cell phone tracking have popped up around the country as the practice becomes more prevalent in court proceedings.
"The ability to access cell phone location data is an incredibly powerful tool and its use is shrouded in secrecy," Crump said. "A detailed history of someone's movements is extremely personal and is the kind of information the Constitution protects."
In January, the Supreme Court came close to addressing this issue when they decided that a GPS tracking device attached to a suspect's car had violated his Fourth Amendment right to privacy, saying the circumstances resulted in an unwarranted search.
"People reveal a great deal of information about themselves to third parties in the course of carrying out mundane tasks," Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote. "People disclose phone numbers that they dial or text to their cellular providers; the URLs that they visit and the email addresses with which they correspond to their internet service providers; and the books, groceries and medications they purchase to online retailers."
Still, the Court decided not to rule on the issue of technology and privacy.
A discussion draft of a possible bill was released shortly after the ruling by Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-MA. The bill, which has not yet been introduced in the House of Representatives, would require cell phone companies to disclose what monitoring software is installed on their devices, what information is collected, who gets to see it and why.
A report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 83 percent of Americans had at least one cell phone in 2011. According to research from CTIA, an international association for the wireless industry, there are 322.8 million cell phones in use across the country.
Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
 
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I do own one, but it is turned off virtually all the time. I own it for use by me mostly when I am traveling or have an emergency.
 

pcduck

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A friend of mine just the other day, accidentally dialed 911:holysheep: while setting their phone down inside the car. He went inside for a hour and when he came back to the car, the police were still on the phone. He talked to the dispatcher and she asked if he was parked near a certain store. He was across the street from the store. :eek:

If the police are willing to do this for a mistaken call, I wonder what they would do, for these hot tips they receive.:chuck: :chuck: :hitchair: :hitchair:
 

Herm

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It doesnt matter if you turn your phone off or not unless you take the battery out of it.
 

bubba902

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This thread has me a lil shaken lol.
I only use my phone for everything.
Ahh I dont like them anymore.
 

pcduck

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I wonder how many Mp members are racing to get the batteries out of their cellphone now? :laugh:
 

bubba902

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Lmao Duck you are correct. I was going to but I use it for MP :eek:.
Bad idea?
Throwing it in the lake brb in 20.
Jk.
 

OGKushman

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If i remove the battery i break the phone :rofl:
 

MJ20

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Becareful what you say..someone may be listening :ignore:
 

Growdude

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"hxxp://www.ehow.com/how_5974027_prevent-cell-phone-detection.html"]
 
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Thanks Growdude. That article indicates that you CANNOT be tracked if your turn your phone off.
 

Hamster Lewis

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The Hemp Goddess said:
Thanks Growdude. That article indicates that you CANNOT be tracked if your turn your phone off.
Yeah that's what I thought as well....I don't hve a smart phone. I use an ugly old piece of crap.
 

Hamster Lewis

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Instructions
1
Turn off your cell phone. It's as easy as that. If your cell phone is turned off, it's not transmitting signals that can be picked up by cell towers, and if it has a built-in GPS device, it can't be tracked. Keep in mind that this is an immediate means to preventing detection--there is still a track-able history of your past calls and locations for periods of time when your cell phone was on.

2
Disable the location feature. Some cell phone models have a GPS-location feature that you can turn off, which effectively disables tracking unless you make a 911 call. This feature might be called "Location" or listed under your "Security" settings. If you're unsure if your cell phone has this feature, look up the security features for your phone in its documentation or contact customer support for the phone manufacturer (this phone number is on the manufacturer's main website or call directory assistance for the manufacturer's number).


3
Refuse tracking invitations.There are various free, online GPS-locator services, such as Google Latitude, that let you register your own cell phone for tracking, as well as track others' cell phones with their permission. Such services have options for viewing cell phone locations on computers, as links in text messages, on websites and more. If you want to minimize others detecting your cell phone, refuse their tracking invitations.

4
Decline cell phone locator services. Many cell phone providers offer GPS-locator services for cell phones under an account--for example, Sprint offers the Sprint Family Locator plan that enables tracking for up to four phones under a single account. Similar to tracking invitations (see Step 3), each cell phone in the plan must accept the invitation to be tracked. There is typically a $5 to $10 monthly fee for this service.

5
Protect your cell phone from spyware. If malicious spyware is illegally downloaded into your cell phone, your locations can be tracked, your stored information retrieved, and any conversations you have in the vicinity of the cell phone--even if it's turned off--can be heard. To prevent such spyware from being downloaded, set a password to lock access to the phone, never leave your phone unattended, refuse connections from devices you don't know or trust, and never loan it to strangers.
 

Hamster Lewis

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Dan K. Liberty said:
There's a certain couple places I go where I always turn it off before leaving, and it stays off til I arrive home again.

No power, no ring, no ping :48: good post HL

Wish I cld take credit for it but I just copy and pasted what Growdude linked. :)
 

PuffinNugs

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been like this for years, even before smart phones. you think you cant be tracked with a old style phone you are mistaken. while not as acurate, its enough to tell when and where you were in certain areas/times.

but really whats the big deal? they are not just randomly tracking people. this has saved hundreds of lives, help solve murders, and other good uses.

i have my gps and location servces running all the time, updating every 30 mintues for weather and news

if your out actively commeting crimes then leave your phone at home ( i was here the whole time officer), simple as that. if you plan on taking a few plant shots, turn the geotagging off, and to be 100% edit and resave on your pc to remove all info. can also right click and go to propeties> remove all personal information.
 

BackWoodsDrifter

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Ah who cares were I be! Gots my cell u lar ons right now and be growin my erbal meds for me! Yup thats right come in and gets me! ;) oh and dont get lost cause somethin hungrey in here find ya fur sure oh and watch to were yual be steppin cause yual just dont knows who be walkin trails head ya. Come to think bout it maybe yu should stop and to think bout it too! Is it realy worth my 3-4 plants? Didnt think so have a safe night home on yur coach with yur family and I be doin the same. But if yu realy want to come on in! Cant says yual come out right ifin yu not invited.

BWD
 

astrobud

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PuffinNugs said:
been like this for years, even before smart phones. you think you cant be tracked with a old style phone you are mistaken. while not as acurate, its enough to tell when and where you were in certain areas/times.

but really whats the big deal? they are not just randomly tracking people. this has saved hundreds of lives, help solve murders, and other good uses.

i have my gps and location servces running all the time, updating every 30 mintues for weather and news

if your out actively commeting crimes then leave your phone at home ( i was here the whole time officer), simple as that. if you plan on taking a few plant shots, turn the geotagging off, and to be 100% edit and resave on your pc to remove all info. can also right click and go to propeties> remove all personal information.
very well put puff
 
D

dman1234

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why dont you all just use your phones for talking, take pics with a seperate camera, doesnt that solve the issue?
 

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