Digital Angels and Coupons From Above

from the we-know-exactly-where-you-are- dept

Gary Brown writes “An article running at HowStuffWorks shows how location tracking is one of those double-edge swords of technology. It can help find people in an emergency, but it can also ensure your whereabouts are known at all times. The FCC has ruled that cell-phone providers must equip their phones with GPS receivers by October 2001. By using global positioning system (GPS) satellites and local, land-based networks, these new systems will use wireless radio signals to find you wherever you are. If your cell phone is equipped with an FCC–required GPS receiver, it will be nearly impossible to conceal your location if you choose not to opt out of the network. Digital Angel uses GPS satellites and an AT&T wireless network to track people wearing a BioSensor watch and GPS-equipped pager device. While you are shopping, PanGo’s Proximity Platform sets up zones of radio signals that send coupons and other announcements to a consumer’s wireless device.”

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Comments on “Digital Angels and Coupons From Above”

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Ed says:

Re: Until they mandate dermal implants...

The summary makes it sound like all phones will have GPS by this October, but the actual FCC requirement for this October is that 50% of newly activated phones should have it, and that deadline can slide depending on other factors.

But regardless, I think it will be relatively easy to hide your location even while using one of these phones — as long as the GPS receiver has a separate antenna from the phone (which I think would be the case, since they’re on different frequencies), then just wrap some foil around the GPS antenna.

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