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Old 10-08-2008, 05:37 AM   #80 (permalink)
mrobert
Thumbs Must Hurt
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Romania
Model: 7130g
OS: v4.1.0.31
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Carrier: Orange Romania
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Hello everyone,

I want to input some oppinion here, related to locating your phone's geographical location. Last year I have developed a small location based software, which was using the celltowers to give you an approximate location. People would "tag" new cells with a relevant name (street, school, etc). It was pretty nice.

I used to get email each day from people wanting to use the service to track their wives and girlfriends. It wasn't doable, and was outside our scope. I usually adviced them to grow up.

The idea is, that if the mobile operator wants to know your location, they can find that out with a very high precission. There is no high-tech involved here, or any conspiracy.
If any of you has ever been a radio-amateur, you know that everything that sends out an RF signal, can be located.

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Recently I have tried Google Maps on my BB 7130g and a Windows Mobile SPV M3100.
It located my position based on cell towers with a staggering precission. The precission was under 50 meters in an urban area. Knowing the tech involved, I asked myself a question. Since when do mobile operators give out cell tower location info to Google?

I got in touch with the local operators to request that info and they told me it's highly classified. All I wanted was a simple CSV, with the closes street name to a tower (not actual coordinates).

Google quietly received that info.

Do you want privacy? Dream on.
There is no such thing, unless you turn off your computer, cellphone and everything else.

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I was a victim of a privacy breach and felt the effects to a maximum extent. I turned it around and realized that all I needed was a pen, paper, and a lot of thinking, to figure out what two people were doing in the past months, and what their next steps are. No high-tech involved.

Sorry for being a bit off-topic
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