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Mobile location tracking


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So I was flying few days back and passed the Isle of Wight @Wight Flight and so had a quick look at my Google maps even though I knew it would just be the high level map outline as I was on airplane mode. 

Was rather surprised to see that little wee blue locator tracker at my exact location. :ph34r:

My location services were on - however in airplane mode how is that possible ? You won't get coverage up there and I had no connections. 

It tracked the flight perfectly - even down to the final turn into land etc .

All I can think is Google somehow knew I was on this flight - and could get data from flight radar etc and so "locate" me that way. 

I've certainly not given permission for this - well not that I know of. 

It wasn't saved in my Google calendar either. 

The easyJet details were emailed to me and that does sync with outlook - but that's Microsoft and not Google. 

Even with that they are making the assumption I was on the flight. Might not have been. Unless they have access to check in data etc :ph34r:

All very creepy and in fact rather sinister. Anyone got a clue how they do this ? 

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I do this every time I used to fly.

Always load up detailed maps of your trip, especially depart/arrival & hold the phone up to the window (phone in flight mode) but with location/GPS on.

See where you are exactly - no conspiracy bruv

Edited by mattydread
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THe US decreed once upon a time commercial GPS receivers had to switch off if they detected they were going 'fast' to prevent them from being useful by tin pot dictators and badduns in guiding fast things.

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1 hour ago, MvR said:

I just tested my phone and GPS still works in Airplane mode. The phone doesn't need to transmit anything to know it's location. 

Yep that's the important part, Airplane mode just turns off two way communication so WiFi, Mobile Network, Bluetooth. A GPS signal is there regardless if there is a phone on, off or in airplane mode so there is no point turning it getting turned off.

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1 hour ago, MvR said:

I just tested my phone and GPS still works in Airplane mode. The phone doesn't need to transmit anything to know it's location. 

Don't tell Stephen Fry that.

Stephen once explained how mobile phones send signals up to GPS satellites so the satellite can work out where you are.

And Stephen Fry is an intellectual and knows everything.  :wanker:

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Isn't 'airplane mode' a load of outdated tosh anyway?

Every other person sitting there clearly using bluetooth earphones, if there was an issue we'd know about it by now/cabin crew would be informed to stop them.

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1 hour ago, gilf said:

Yep that's the important part, Airplane mode just turns off two way communication so WiFi, Mobile Network, Bluetooth. A GPS signal is there regardless if there is a phone on, off or in airplane mode so there is no point turning it getting turned off.

I downloaded detailed maps to my phone when I went to the south of France. I had my phone on airplane mode and hoped that I could use it as a basic satnav. Unfortunately the blue dot was only accurate to about half a mile, which is pretty useless when trying to navigate the streets of Carcassonne and Nimes. 

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2 minutes ago, The Generation Game said:

I downloaded detailed maps to my phone when I went to the south of France. I had my phone on airplane mode and hoped that I could use it as a basic satnav. Unfortunately the blue dot was only accurate to about half a mile, which is pretty useless when trying to navigate the streets of Carcassonne and Nimes. 

Problem with phones is they try and be all things to all men, the GPS receiver in the phone isn't really man enough for the job, it's good enough to get you in the general area. It can be improved with the aid of Wifi/Cell network, but you are using a very cheap module in a mobile phone when compared to a dedicated GPS device.

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16 minutes ago, The Generation Game said:

I downloaded detailed maps to my phone when I went to the south of France. I had my phone on airplane mode and hoped that I could use it as a basic satnav. Unfortunately the blue dot was only accurate to about half a mile, which is pretty useless when trying to navigate the streets of Carcassonne and Nimes. 

The GPS in my phone works fine in several countries for street navigation. Could be you have a duff unit. Although being amongst lots of very tall buildings creates "canyons" which upset any GPS.

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2 minutes ago, Funn3r said:

The GPS in my phone works fine in several countries for street navigation. Could be you have a duff unit. Although being amongst lots of very tall buildings creates "canyons" which upset any GPS.

Probably. It was an apple. I improved the accuracy, a la @ccc, by now using an android device. 

My navigating exploits on that trip were pretty sound. The biggest problem I had with that hire car (Fiat 500) is that I went down one road into a flock of sheep, waited patiently for them to pass, and a couple of them decided to jump up on the bonnet. I was sure I was going to get stung for dents but no. They also missed the slight chip in the windscreen. 

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1 minute ago, Bedrag Justesen said:

Try wrapping it in tin foil.

How do you know if it`s off ? I know this works with rfid chips but mobile signals seem to be far more powerful , i have seen with my own eyes plant machinery recovered from locked shipping containers that have satellite tracking on them ,i found three hired welding sets hidden away in another companies stores a 40ft shipping container allegedly put there by mistake 

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2 hours ago, Boglet said:

Isn't 'airplane mode' a load of outdated tosh anyway?

Every other person sitting there clearly using bluetooth earphones, if there was an issue we'd know about it by now/cabin crew would be informed to stop them.

If you could cause any sort of damage whatsoever with a mobile phone, you'd have them taken from you during the (illusion of) security check.

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8 minutes ago, Alonso Quijano said:

I 'watched' myself cross the Irish Sea on a ferry once, no wifi, but the GPS tracked my progress. Both amazing and a little sinister!

More and more I find myself not bothering to take the phone out with me.

You are Number Six... 

1453880440_No.6prisonerbadge.jpg.ede299d63379f5c285889a78445ca567.jpg

My phone does this thing where it connects to my car stereo, whenever I park it logs where I parked (by noting the disconnect from the stereo) and then adds a plot point on Apple maps on where I parked the car.

This isn't something I have ever signed up for or wanted, just happens by "magic". No doubt I could turn it off, just never been that bothered but is all as you say a little sinister.

 

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3 hours ago, Happy Renting said:

Don't tell Stephen Fry that.

Stephen once explained how mobile phones send signals up to GPS satellites so the satellite can work out where you are.

And Stephen Fry is an intellectual and knows everything.  :wanker:

He really shouldn't have revealed that -- everyone here knows that you don't let the plebs know you're monitoring them.

Luckily everyone just thought he was being stupid.

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