How Location Tracking Works

By: Kevin Bonsor

Location and Tracking Privacy

­ The words location tracking can lead many to worry about privacy. Some may worry about the government knowing t­heir whereabouts, stalkers spying on them or even a spouse monitoring their movements. Although the technology could allow anyone to find you at any given moment, measures are being taken to prevent this kind of abuse.

Wireless companies are ensuring consumers that federal law prevents these scenarios from happening. In 1999, the U.S. Congress amended the Communications Act of 1934 to include a privacy provision by adding section 222, which states:


222 (a)Every telecommunications carrier has a duty to protect the confidentiality of proprietary information of, and relating to ... customers ... (b)A telecommunications carrier that receives or obtains proprietary information from another carrier for purposes of providing any telecommunications service shall use such information only for such purpose, and shall not use such information for its own marketing efforts. (c )(1) PRIVACY REQUIREMENTS FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS CARRIERS. - Except as required by law or with the approval of the customer, a telecommunications carrier that receives or obtains customer proprietary network information by virtue of its provision of a telecommunications service shall only use, disclose, or permit access to individually identifiable customer proprietary network information in its provision of (A) the telecommunications service from which such information is derived, or (B) services necessary to, or used in, the provision of such telecommunications service, including the publishing of directories. (2) DISCLOSURE ON REQUEST BY CUSTOMERS. - A telecommunications carrier shall disclose customer proprietary network information, upon affirmative written request by the customer, to any person designated by the customer.

This provision is intended to protect consumers' information from being given out. However, consumers must decide how much privacy they are willing to trade for the conveniences and benefits offered by location-tracking technology.

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