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View Diary: NSA collecting 5 billion cell phone locations a day (102 comments)

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  •  My cellphone will let me turn the GPS off (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, Bluefin, stevemb

    It's a simple Samsung flip phone, but deep in the setup menu is a paower-saver feature that allows me to turn off the constant GPS locator function.   Now, that function only activates when I dial 911.  Explore your setup menu.  I'll bet you have the same feature.  
    Of course, the system knows which cell tower I'm closest to in case I initiate or receive a call, but it doe not triangulate to my exact position.  

    •  All phones allow you to turn GPS off. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, Flyswatterbanjo, stevemb

      However, using cell towers will also allow one to trace your location although it's much less accurate.

    •  You are mistaken (4+ / 0-)

      Mapping cells does not depend exclusively on GPS positioning (it helps) but can triangulate between adjacent towers, which is how they make handoffs as you travel between them.

      The greater the density of towers, the more accurate. GPS is generally accurate to about 10 meters at the moment of transmission (factoring the delay in 3G about 20 meters), tower triangulation is less accurate and relative to tower proximity but accurate enough to map.

      You should not take a false sense of security switching off GPS.

      •  In fact, your phone may be trackable (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shenderson, koNko

        even when turned off. It seems you have to remove the battery to stay out of the grasp of the NSA.

        http://www.techdirt.com/...

        If reality clashes with your belief, then the problem clearly is reality.--God

        by Flyswatterbanjo on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 04:54:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for mentioning this. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        koNko

        The data being routinely collected is which cell is a given phone in, which is part of the info related to any cellphone call. AFAIK, the phone companies do this on their own, and it has nothing to do with the GPS info.   So NSA merely has to tap into data the phone cos already have.

        Look on your bill,  the itemization of each call.  My bill shows where my phone was when it made/received each call.  It doesn't give me a cell location,  just the nearest town.

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Thu Dec 05, 2013 at 07:30:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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