Calling 911 on your cell phone will tell police where you are, for example, and new technology will allow trackers to pinpoint your location within a few feet.
According to Federal Communications Commission rules, wireless telecom carriers must build into their systems the ability for police to locate anyone calling 911.
But that's just the beginning. Under the so-called Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (CALEA) police are given the authority to track the locations of any cell phone users even if they're not dialing 911.
Add to that Lucent Technology's soon-to-be-released system that will allow those using the new technology to track the locations of cell phone users to within a few feet, and you have a whole new threat to individual citizens' privacy rights.
Given the ability to accurately pinpoint cell phone users' locations, for example, wireless providers will be able to use their systems to exploit that ability for commercial purposes, ecompany.com magazine's Startup feature warns.
Even though users would be given the opportunity to have their phone numbers removed from the calling lists of individual advertisers, they would still be subject to being harassed by unwanted calls and would have to go to the trouble of notifying the callers they want their names deleted from their lists.
A hopeful sign: A bill awaiting action in Congress would criminalize the transmission of unwanted commercial calls to cell phones or other wireless devices without the express written consent of the wireless device's owner, Startup reports.
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