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[liberationtech] Cell phone tracking

Seth David Schoen schoen at
Fri May 24 14:19:05 PDT 2013

Yosem Companys writes:

> From: Dan Gillmor <dan at>
> Given the vanishingly small likelihood that companies or governments
> will do anything about cell phone tracking, I'm interested in what
> countermeasures we can take individually. The obvious one is to turn
> off GPS except on rare occasions.
> I'll be discussing all this in an upcoming book, and in my Guardian
> column soon. So I'd welcome ideas.

As other people have said, GPS isn't necessary for cell phone tracking;
it can also be used in tracking but the tracking works well by
triangulation.  The tracking of Malte Spitz

used this process.

I'm curious whether people in some countries have had success using
wifi-only phones, including to make and receive calls by VoIP.  There
are ways that wifi can be more private in some ways in some situations
compared to the GSM network, but it's also much, much less ubiquitous.

Seth Schoen  <schoen at>
Senior Staff Technologist             
Electronic Frontier Foundation        
815 Eddy Street, San Francisco, CA  94109       +1 415 436 9333 x107

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