The last few years have seen a significant campaign to prevent the phone company Huawei from installing 5G internet in the US. As the company is Chinese, opponents claimed the Chinese government would take this data to spy on you.
Yet, what many do not realize, is that other Americans are already using your phone to spy on you — particularly the police.
How the police are using cell phone data in investigations
Atlanta police are one of many law enforcement authorities across the country to track people’s movements via the person’s cell phone. The GPS technology that allows you to find your phone or track how far you run or cycle can give the same information to a host of law agencies who may use it against you.
In addition to the GPS data your phone can provide, the authorities can also use cell phone towers to see where you are. Each time you pass a cell phone tower, your phone will connect with it to ensure you retain the signal as you travel. Otherwise, you would soon go out of reach and lose the signal. The phone companies have records to show when and where your phone connected to each tower.
Some police forces take it a step further and use what is known as a stingray device. These imitate cell phone towers to fool cell phones into connecting and providing data that the police can use to identify the cell phone owner.
The police need permission to track you via your cell phone
If you are arrested and charged with a crime, it is vital to determine how the police gained evidence about your whereabouts. If the police wish to track you through your cell phone or cell phone records, they need the appropriate authorization. If they did not have this, it might help you defend against criminal charges.