A new study says you can stop your phone from being tracked for all sorts of purposes, including when you’re driving or while in the car.
The new study, which has been released in advance of a national conference on tracking and data collection, says a phone’s location can be used to track you and others in a car, but that’s not always true.
“If you have an iOS device, that’s an entirely different story,” says David Kostelan, an associate professor at the University of Michigan.
“That’s a completely different story, and it’s a story that the government is interested in.”
A phone’s GPS, the system that keeps track of its location, also keeps track, says Kostan, who was not involved in the study.
That means you can tell a car’s location when it senses your presence, but not when you get in your car.
And if the phone’s been stolen, Kosten says, “You can’t use that as an indication of the presence of the person you’re talking to.”
You can use it for your own safetyKostelian says he is worried about what’s being collected about his personal phone.
“When you’re going through the streets, that could be used as an identifier,” he says.
“If you were to go in the park, you could be recorded.”
Kostels phone has a GPS that can track his location.
It is installed on the device by the manufacturer and is meant to keep track of where you are, so it’s up to you to know what to do with that information.
If your GPS is set up incorrectly, it could be tracking you, even if you are not driving, Kastelan says.
He suggests setting up a “private” setting that restricts access to GPS information.
“You might have to set up a password to turn it off, or disable GPS altogether, and then have it turned back on again,” Kostels warns.
That’s one of the things you might not want to do if you have a cellphone in the vehicle, as well as the fact that your phone is still transmitting data even when you are in a private setting.
Kosten recommends that you set up your phone’s network settings to limit what you can do with your phone when you have it in your hand.
“Don’t allow any text messaging, don’t use the phone for any other activity other than for calling or for calling to someone who’s a trusted person,” he advises.
“That includes using the phone in the field.”
If you do have a smartphone, KOSTELAN says you should be wary of other people’s location tracking.
“The data is already in the phone,” he explains.
“The problem is when it’s out of the phone, and when it gets into a vehicle, it’s actually stored in a way that’s quite hard to trace.”
So what should you do if your phone becomes tracking?
Kostelman says if you do not turn off your GPS, you can still track your phone by tracking it when it is in your pocket.
“There are other methods you can use to control your location, like using the app, turning on your camera, and setting a location beacon,” he suggests.
The study does not say whether the phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network, but if it is, that would also be a potential location tracking target.
“I think it’s more than a phone, it is an information technology that we share and use every day,” Kastels says.