Cell Phone Tracking

As cell phones have become more common, privacy concerns about the ease of tracking users have arisen. To work properly, cell phones must continuously make contact with a signal service provider (typically by connecting to a network of signal towers). Consequently, users are unable to use the phone effectively without being tracked. The data gathered through this tracking—such as location data, contact lists, call history, text message logs, and network cache—allow for a fairly complete profile of a user to be constructed. Law enforcement officers can employ tracking technology and the resulting data to track and apprehend suspects, but because this technology is relatively new, the enactment and enforcement of laws associated with it are inconsistent. This entry reviews the technology that allows for cell ...

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