Tag: mobile tracking

U.K. mobile technology makes it possible to sell user movement data

Hackers can glean a significant amount of location data from smartphones, only to sell it to others.

According to recent data released by privacy campaigners in the United Kingdom, it is possible for hackers to access British mobile technology devices such as smartphones, including data that would reveal the user’s physical location as well as his or her movements throughout the day.

That information can then be sold to someone who intends to use it for criminal purposes.

Mobile technology wireless hotspot and phone operators are continually gathering detailed data with regards to the movements of device owners as they go about their everyday lives. This, according to the results of two individual investigations into the retention of mobile data. Now, people are being cautioned that if this information is ever hacked by a criminal, it could reveal a significant amount about a person’s daily activities and movements, which can include very personal details and could put these individuals at risk.

Reports on the matter have pointed out that many people have unwittingly signed up their mobile technology devices.

Mobile Technology - Mobile UsersThe privacy campaigners have said that many people don’t even realize that they have subscribed to having their location tracked all day and night, every day. They also don’t realize how sensitive this information can actually be as it can provide a great deal of insight into their regular routines. This can – and is – sold for profit. From legitimate sources, this data is sold in order to be analyzed for the purpose of mobile marketing and other similar reasons.

However, in the wrong hands, this detailed information can make it possible for criminals to target kids when they leave their homes or school, or they can blackmail adults who would rather not have their regular habits publicly known. This is especially troubling when considering that it also includes information that can reveal an individual’s gender, religion, sexual orientation, and a great deal more.

Krowdthink founder, Geoff Revill, explained that “Effectively consumers are opting in to being location tracked by default.” Krowdthink is a privacy campaign group which conducted one of the two widespread investigations into this data collection.

Mobile app leads owners of stolen smartphone directly to thief

A couple used the application to chase down the man who stole their phone in West Delhi.

A 22 year old man identified as Sandeep Kumar was likely rather surprised to find himself being arrested after the owners of a smartphone used a mobile app to track him down after what he likely thought was the successful theft of that device.

The owners had an application installed on the mobile phone that allowed it to be tracked and found.

The couple simply activated the mobile app from a remote location and found out where Kumar was hiding so that they could easily hand him over to the police. Kumar has allegedly stolen several mobile devices before, so it must have come as quite a shock to him when his discovery capture occurred as easily as it did for the smartphone owners. Before his arrest, he worked at a power distribution company in Delhi as a recovery agent.

The mobile app was actually meant to help owners to find their smartphones when they have been mislaid.

Mobile App helps to find gadget thief Nishant Verma, the owner of the stolen smartphone, is a resident of Janakpuri in West Delhi. He explained to the police that the cell phone reception in his area is spotty, so he needs to step outside his home whenever he wants to send a text or make or receive a call. That was exactly what he was doing when he stepped out of the house on August 21, when Kumar allegedly grabbed the iPhone 6 out of his hands before speeding off on a scooter. This, according to one of the police officials involved in the case.

Verma immediately contacted his wife who used the Find My iPhone app on her iPad to track down the stolen smartphone. The application provided her with navigation directions and made it possible for the couple to find out just where the accused was hiding.

Kumar continued to change locations throughout the time that followed the theft, but the couple kept up with him through the mobile app, until they finally spotted his scooter in the Sagarpur area and worked with locals to overpower him. The police were called and Kumar was restrained until the law enforcement could arrive and arrest him.