News: The Police and Your Cell Phone Carrier Make a Great Team—Maybe Too Great

The Police and Your Cell Phone Carrier Make a Great Team—Maybe Too Great

You know that feeling when your cell phone gets stolen and you figure it is pretty much lost forever. You could've used one of the millions of device managers and trackers, but ya didn't. And the Good Samaritan is not coming to your rescue.

Of course you could call the police, but they will tell you that there is absolutely nothing they can do, and laugh at the fact that you even called them in the first place. But then you start to think. "Can't my cellular provider track the location of my stolen device in a matter of seconds." The answer is and emphatic YES, with a side of Go Fuck Yourself.

You see, your cellular provider can get the location of your cell phone, they just won't do it for your stupid, insignificant self. I mean, it's not like you pay their bills... (wait). But without or warrant, you're out of luck... well most of the time. Basically, if you were to commit a crime, after your phone was stolen. The police could then ask your cell company to locate your device, hoping to of course find you, and in the course of criminal pursuit, would find your phone and the guy/gal who stole it. Hooray!

Police have been using cell phone tracking for years now, and they have saved a ton of money and time thanks to companies like AT&T and Verizon. Kevin S. Bankston and Ashkan Soltani published their research in the Yale Law Journal, discussing the cost-benefit of location tracking and the cost-benefit of your privacy.

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In short, the police force saves a ton of money and time, utilizing the option to track a suspect's cell location.

Their research compared most of the common methods for searching for a suspect. Cell phone tracking was on average, the cheapest.

But how far reaching should this go? If you steal a pack of gum, should the police be able to track your location? And how long can they track you?

All of these questions are really up in the air as of now. With technology advancing, and are justice system lagging behind, this could be cause for concern.

What do you think about cell phone tracking? How long should the police be able to track a suspects location? Let us know in the comments section.

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Cover image via Flickr/lar-f


I think it's a two way street. On one side, i think they should be able to track Your location on a request, because it comes in handy if really needed. Even if there's a little service fee. On the other hand none of us likes to being watched 24/7 by someone, because that's what will happen if tracking becomes legit. But.... there's always measures that can be applied, so that they think they see You, but actually don't. It would make a big change in the world, for some a positive one and for the others...well, not so positive. Overall, i would say yes to tracking.

I think that the police are very responsible people, so as a result they should be able to track you 24/7 if they have a reasonable reason for it. If they don't need to be tracking it than they shouldn't be. I think this would be a good compromise and should be taken into affect.

Goodbye freedom...

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