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GPS Devices And Cell Phones

May 9, 2008
Since the terrifying events of September 11, 2001, there had been pressure on cell phone providers to integrate some kind of GPS tracking system so that a suspicious cell phone call could be traced to the location of the caller. At the end of 2005 all cell phone service providers were mandated to update their equipment so that they would have the capabilities to trace any cell phone calls within 100 meters of the location where the phone was being used. Instead of incurring the extra expense of restructuring their whole tower network, these companies decided to put the GPS technology in place in the cell phones themselves. These built-in tracking devices are not available for personal use, however. Most of these systems require assistance from a wireless network and are only put into use if a 911 call is made or if it is a law enforcement matter.

There are certain models of cell phones that have the GPS feature included on them. When deciding to purchase one of these phones you should keep in mind that it is illegal to track someone without his knowledge as this is an invasion of his privacy. You must have the cell phone subscriber's permission before you can enable a GPS device. In matters of the person's personal safety, however, a judge can waive the need for this permission, such as in the case of an elderly person who is known to "wander" off and become lost and disoriented. A GPS tracking system could be the difference between life and death and would probably be allowed in this situation. This law is also not in effect when you are tracking your children, as long as the cell phone is in your name. For children over eighteen years of age, however, it is probably is not a good idea.

As well as tracking seniors and children, there may be times when you need to be tracked yourself. If you are an avid outdoorsman who enjoys going off into the wilderness alone, it is a good idea to give your spouse or a close friend permission to track your cell phone in case of an emergency situation where you may be alone and miles away from any help. This is also a good idea if you are traveling in bad weather, especially if your vehicle does not have a GPS system of its own. In these cases, it is better to take the extra precautions than to suffer for it later.

Some of the companies that offer GPS tracking are T-Mobil and Sprint. Some of the cell phones available with this feature that are on the market include Motorolla, iDEN, and Blackberry. Disney Mobile and Wherify Wireless both offer their own versions of GPS cell phones. Most of these companies have a call center and a Web site that enables you to pinpoint a person's location easily.

Again, GPS tracking devices and cell phones are wonderful tools to use to track someone when it involves a safety issue. Using it for the wrong reasons, however, is illegal as well as unconstitutional. You should use your best judgment when deciding to make use of a GPS system.
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You just got a new cell phone or you want to personalize your current cell phone visit this article on cell phone accessories.
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