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Will Keeping GPS Enabled Help Police Find Me....

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Puddin422, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Puddin422

    Puddin422 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    .....if I'm abducted?

    Not that I'm planning on being kidnapped, but if I were, is enabling GPS useful? Are police departments able to to go my carrier and find my location?

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  2. woop

    woop novacane (OFWGKTA)

    Police would be able to find you through your cell phone but not through GPS as that would be something you'd always have to keep on, and by doing so, your battery life would suffer. They are able to locate you by using cell towers to triangulate your position. Obviously, it isn't as accurate but they will be within the vicinity.
  3. terse storm

    terse storm Newbie

    if you plan on committing any crimes, leave your cell phone at home turned off. the police can triangulate your position. they will use it against you in court.

    Tapped from cell block a san quentin
  4. CureMS

    CureMS Well-Known Member

    Worse is the idiot thief who plugged in his cell to charge it and then left it behind when he ran - gotcha!

    BORIStheBLADE Well-Known Member

    IF you have a signal its only useful too.
  6. bolantej

    bolantej Lurker

    so does all this mean that the cops cannot use GPS to find you?
  7. Bnice

    Bnice Guest

    Yes police can use the GPS to locate you .A lot of folks think they need to call your cell but thats no true, they can call your phone carrier as well. (As long as the phone has power)
  8. Gnomad

    Gnomad Well-Known Member

    The only way the police can locate you from your gps locatioin is if an e911 call was made from your cell phone. The cell phone companies are not allowed to just give this information to the police because of suspected criminal activity. A subpoena is the only way to get that info from the cell company aside from an e911 call being made from the cell phone.
  9. Bnice

    Bnice Guest

    The op question, can police use the GPS to locate him? The answer is YES.
  10. Puddin422

    Puddin422 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Her. And thank you. I keep my GPS on all the time, just in case this was possible. Now I most definitely will. And it does not drain my battery.
  11. snapper.fishes

    snapper.fishes Android Expert

    Actually the gps can be switched on remotely, so it's not necessary to keep it on.
  12. Gnomad

    Gnomad Well-Known Member

    The answer is only yes if there is a 911 call placed from the cell phone in question.
  13. Puddin422

    Puddin422 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    How do you know this?
  14. Gnomad

    Gnomad Well-Known Member

    There are quite a few court cases going on lately about this privacy issue, with most courts siding with privacy, while requiring police to obtain a warrant to access your cell phone records and tracking data including gps locating. If a 911 call is placed from the phone with gps enabled there is no requirement to obtain a warrant and there is an expectation to use the data to track your location.
  15. Puddin422

    Puddin422 Android Expert
    Thread Starter

  16. Campbell

    Campbell Lurker

    A lot of bad information has been posted here.......

    The only thing "police" get when you use a cell phone for a 911 call is your name and phone #. Period! And that even depends on the carrier. Your GPS can NOT be used by Police to locate you untill they have obtained a court order 'warrant' allowing them to do so then that gets to the carrier and by that time, your cell phone battery will be dead.

    If your worried about it, the very best thing to do is to tell a friend or family member of your route of travel plan so that if you do go missing, someone will have a good idea of the area or route you were on.

    GPS on your phone was not designed to be a "police" emergency tool. It is a huge mistake to rely on it in that manner..... IT WILL NOT HELP YOU THAT WAY.

  17. Martimus

    Martimus One bite at a time...

    Welcome to the Android Forums Jason!

    With all due respect, it sounds like your statements are based on the old generation 911 system. Much of the U.S. is now running or in the midst of implementing an Enhanced 911 (E911) system.

    During phase I of the E911 implementation, PSAP's (Public Safety Answering Points) could determine a person's location by cell tower location. Not quite accurate but at least it gets them close.

    During phase II of the E911 implmentation the PSAP's begin receiving longitude/latitude information from the wireless caller. In some cases the wireless carriers asked for and were granted waivers from the FCC to delay implementation... but this was more the exception than the rule.

    Whether it be cell tower location or longitude/latitude information, the PSAP's need to have this information at their disposal otherwise it would be nearly impossible for them to accurately dispatch emergency services to cell phone callers.

    Enhanced 9-1-1 - Wireless Services

    If you look at the Master PSAP registry in the following link you'll see that there are in excess of 8000 PSAP's (mostly active but some are now inactive) registered with the FCC. Of these, most are run by local Police or Fire Departments.

    Gnomad likes this.
  18. Gnomad

    Gnomad Well-Known Member

    Since about 2001 the FCC has required e911 calls to be relayed to a PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point). The carriers are then required to relay information to the PSAP such as originating phone number and location of the call to an accuracy of approximately 100 meters.

    Oops, looks like Martimus beat me to it!
  19. uzetaab

    uzetaab Android Enthusiast

    Actually, it makes me look at Google Latitude in a whole new light. I'm no legal expert, but if someone were to ask my wife where I am & she looked it up on latitude they wouldn't need a warrant. Hell, it could even save my life if had an accident I drove off the road on the way home from work.

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