- How to Track an Android Phone
- 4 ways your Android device is tracking you (and how to stop it)
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- How can I Find my Lost Android Phone With Find my Device?
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How to Track an Android Phone
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4 ways your Android device is tracking you (and how to stop it)
Spanish police are using drones to scold citizens who go outside 20 hours ago. Your devices - computers, mobile phones, and tablets - are constantly telling others where you are. Your mobile phone in particular is a very effective tracking device: Where you go, it goes, and it records your location all the time - even when you're not connected to the internet. Location information collected over time can tell a surprisingly full story about who you are and what your life looks like. Location information can reveal not just where you live and work, but also your visits to churches, clinics, bars, friends and lovers; it can show which protests you've participated in, or which political organisations or support groups you're part of.
A map-based visualisation made recently by Open Data City and others shows how this works. In Germany, newspaper Die Zeit did a similar thing with the phone records of Green Party politician Malte Spitz, which Spitz got out of his mobile phone provider. The records included logs of calls and texts as well as location, which Zeit used to create a detailed visualisation about his life. His daily routine was crystal clear, as were any deviations from this routine.
Read more here. Location data can also be used to map out your relationships with others.
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If you and another person, or other people, are in the same place at specific times of the day, it's possible to infer what relationships you have with these people - if, for example, they are co-workers, lovers, roommates, or family members. Or, to take another example, if you are a government employee and are in the same cafe as a specific journalist, you could be be flagged as a leaker. Who wants this information, and why? This kind of detailed picture can be valuable to all kinds of people and organisations. For one, it can be sold by companies to make money; it can also can be used to predict where you'll be at a given point in the future; it can be used by governments.
Mobile phone towers To send and receive calls and messages, your phone must constantly communicate with mobile phone towers.
This activity is monitored and logged by your mobile phone provider, allowing them to identify where you are and where you've been. Most smart phones are equipped with a GPS chip and if your phone's 'location services' are on it will communicate with the GPS satellites, allowing you and others to pinpoint your location to a remarkably accurate degree. Location logs Location information can then be logged by your phone and various apps on it.
Most smartphones have a map app installed, and this goes so far as to log your location as you move, and even store where you've been in the past. Who has access? Your location history is accessible to anyone who has, or who can get, access to your phone. It is assumed that Google or Apple also have access to your phone's location log, since they own the location tracking apps in the first place, as well as the Operating Systems OSs that almost everyone's phones run on.
How can I Find my Lost Android Phone With Find my Device?
Unless you've already turned off location services or frequent locations, your phone is probably logging your location on the device itself. On the iPhone, you can actually can see it mapped out. How do they know where I live? Apple uses an algorithm, or formula, that assumes that if your phone regularly stays in one place at night And if it stays in another place all day, that must be your workplace.
Are there other ways to map my movements on my phone? Yes, you could install an app that we recommend called Open Paths iPhone or Android. Note: If you install the Open Paths app you will still be giving your personal location data to The New York Times company, who own the app.