Where Have You Been? Your Cell Phone Knows and Is Willing to Tell.
If you’ve ever walked through a shopping center and received a text-messaged coupon for the store you’ve just passed, you have a hint that your location isn’t exactly a secret. Somebody out there knows where you are and is putting that information to use.
That sort of proximity marketing might be super-creepy or really helpful, depending on your tastes. But location-tracking can be dangerous if you’re up against a government agency, which are more prone to shackles than to special offers. Your cell phone is tracking your movements and, despite legal protections, federal, state, and local officials are finding new and disturbing ways to use that information.
Some cops saw the potential for tracking people through their phones long before the law formally caught up.
Cory Hutcheson, the former sheriff of Mississippi County, Missouri, was sentenced last April to six months in federal prison and four on house arrest for illegally tracking people’s phones without a warrant. Among the people he tracked without legal cause were his predecessor in office, state troopers, and a county judge.
“For a three year period, including after being elected Sheriff of Mississippi County, Hutcheson uploaded false and fraudulent documents to a law enforcement database to obtain the location of over 200 mobile phone users,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri. “Hutcheson submitted thousands of requests and obtained the location data of hundreds individual phone subscribers without valid legal authorization, and without the consent or knowledge of the targeted individual.”
Hutcheson did his tracking through Securus, a prison phone provider that offers location services on communications devices (and not just
Article from Latest – Reason.com