Analysis of Methods for Mobile Device Tracking

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by TheWindBringeth, Nov 15, 2013.

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  1. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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    Last edited: Nov 15, 2013
  2. Krysis

    Krysis Registered Member

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    Nice article! Confirms what I discovered some time ago when I checked into Geo location aspects of mobile devices (this was after reading claims that powered off devices could still be tracked)
    Eg, a comment from the article:
    ''GSM mobile devices are effectively invisible unless actively involved in a call or during a period of data transfer''

    I have a 'not so smart' mobile phone which I have never bothered to connect to the net (I tether the phone to my laptop to type out SMS – or download stuff, etc when I need to) I often get my 'area' location displayed on the phone screen – but this is understandable as I live in a country zone and there is only one mobile tower in the vicinity, so of course my provider knows where I am (at least my approximate area location) when I make a call.

    I guess one could get paranoid over this 'locatability' but I don't really consider this aspect of any great consequence with regard privacy.
     
  3. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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    The subject of that brief was large indoor spaces, such as a retail store. They seemed downbeat on the potential for a third party to simply use passive sniffing of cellular radio communications for tracking at/within such spaces, but I can't tell if that is due to an inability to uniquely identify a device each time it communicates with a tower or just due to the device<->tower communications not reliably happening frequently enough to be useful to them.

    Although many people might be carrying around non-smart phones that infrequently communicate with towers, wouldn't others be carrying around smartphones that... given background traffic + purposefully triggered traffic... would be far more frequently communicating with towers?

    I've read almost nothing about cellular protocols and thus am flying blind. Perhaps someone else here is more familiar with them and could comment?
     
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