GPS Privacy: How to Maintain Yours While Staying Safe

GPS systems are great aids, helping drivers, campers, hikers, bikers, and boaters navigate safely to their destinations. Generally considered benevolent, you may not have thought about the privacy implications for GPS systems.

However, keep in mind that GPS units are not only one-way systems – rather, while you are using a GPS device to locate your coordinates, someone else can be using the very same GPS signal to track you. This may come in handy in certain situations, but it can also seem invasive in others. Knowing how the system works can help you retain your privacy.

GPS Tracking on Your Cell Phone

Newer cell phone models have the ability to provide all types of information to people you may or may not want to access – most notably, your location. All phones with some sort of ‘location based service’ that enables you to check your phone display to look for theaters or restaurants has an imbedded GPS transmitter that allows you to access this information.

Though this sounds benign at first hearing, the GPS tracking system in your phone obviously has to know your location before it can give you the information you need – which means that someone at your cell phone company is able to track your movements 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, if they so desire. This kind of knowledge is enough to make anyone a bit uneasy.

To prevent this, go to your phone menu and turn the GPS transmitter off in your settings. Most cell phone have the default GPS Tracking setting at ON, so you’ll have to manually turn it off anytime you’re interested in shielding your privacy that much more.

Remember That Tracking Can Be Helpful in Many Situations

It’s important to remember that this two-way GPS feature can also come in handy when needed most. Countless people in difficult situations have been able to be located by outside help because of their GPS trackers. Thus, keeping a balance between privacy and safety is important, and a GPS device can help to successfully strike that balance.

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