This is an often debated topic. If you download a tracking app on your mobile phone, your device can easily be tracked or monitored by a third party. A smartphone contains the users' personal information, activity log and their browsing history. In fact, cell phones can be used to track the user's real-time location.
At this point, people are concerned about the security of their data. This creates a challenging situation for developers of the app: they must ensure the safety and security of the data they gather.
Phone tracking data is often used to track criminal activities, intended fraud at workplaces, or cheating in relationships. However, even despite the potential benefits, people are still concerned about the legality of and security risks posed by tracking apps in smartphones.
Advocates of smartphone tracking applications cite how they allow parents to keep an eye on their children's smartphone activity, and how businesses use tracking to safeguard confidential company information. However, the argument against tracking is the unwarranted use: when the same applications are used to secretly monitor employee activities or spy on a family member, things get unethical and unsafe.
Mobile phone tracking app
Mobile phones and other wireless gadgets have become indispensable communication tools for active involvement in modern life. They are, however, the most powerful and effective tracking devices that may be used to invade people's privacy.
Knowing where a person's cell phone is might expose personal information such as when they are attending a meeting, what political activities they participate in, and who they spend time with. Without a warrant from a court, law enforcement agents can often get this sensitive information and use it against the individual. Our call records, contact lists, and even the contents of our text messages and phone conversations are in the record of the federal government thanks to the use of extraordinary surveillance programs.
Is it safe to use tracking apps?
Cell phones have become prevalent, and they are now used for more than just making phone conversations. They are also used to access the Internet, send text messages, and film the world.
Unfortunately, cell devices were not built with security and privacy by default. They not only fail to encrypt your communications, but they also expose you to new types of surveillance risks such as location tracking. Although many cell phones provide the user far less flexibility than a personal computer, it's more difficult to change the operating system, detect virus assaults, uninstall or replace unwanted incorporated programs, and restrict parties such as the service provider from tracking your activity.
If a cell phone device is outdated, the developer may also cease offering software upgrades, which includes some integral security patches. If this happens, the device will not have the upgraded security system and will be vulnerable to hacks, malware, and spyware.
Tracking apps don't just need to be downloaded. In fact, smartphones already have some built-in software and apps that can easily track the users' information.
- Mobiles can easily be traced if they are catching signals from a nearby signal tower.
- The IMSI (international mobile subscriber identity) number can be used to trace the user's SIM card, and consequently, their whereabouts.
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth can easily reveal a users' personal data and location if tracked.
- Applications like Maps and Snapchat, along with Google location history can expose the users' real-time location.
- Online advertisers track your behavior and usage to recommend you purchases as per your preferences
So, there is no 100% surety of privacy. In this case, all a person needs to do is to use tracking apps wisely.
The legality of phone tracking apps
This matter is extremely concerning as some tracking applications enable acts that are unlawful under federal law, such as recording a conversation without the permission of a user. Some applications permit users to read another person's emails or texts secretly, which is also against federal law.
On the other hand, there are many applications that work on users' permission only, for example a mobile app can track other users' activities only if the other user has the tracking app installed in the cell phone. Meanwhile, some advanced tracking softwares used by advanced agencies and agents are authorized to track and monitor criminal activities and therefore permitted to use only by officials.
Policy makers have often penalized tracking software developers, but some courts also consider certain tracking apps to be non-invasive. For instance, some say that GPS data is not 'content' and therefore monitoring it doesn't violate the law.
Tracking applications may be beneficial in various ways, including allowing consenting partners to track one other's whereabouts. Mobile device location data, on the other hand, may reveal a lot about a person's life, such as where they reside, go to school, or if they've visited a restaurant, a therapist, a lawyer, or a previous boyfriend's residence.
Furthermore, certain tracking applications allow for the secret acquisition of a person's cell phone location information and covert monitoring of conversations such as texts, emails, and phone calls in some situations. Such surveillance can threaten a person's safety and privacy and can also be used to facilitate stalking. As a result, it is preferable to use this technology cautiously.