Location Tracker App Used To Track Down and Retrace Steps of Aussie Couple With Corona Virus

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This is exactly the happening in Australia this week. According to the reports of ABC, the law enforcement are utilizing a cutting-edge phone tracking technology including new Apple maps to track down the movements and locations and a Chinese couple who flew from Guangzhou to Adelaide last January, without knowing that both of them are infected and are carrying the Corona Virus.

Retracing and contact tracing

The Australian police have released a statement that the initiative was carried out specifically for the safety of the public. Aside from this, they also stressed out that the two tourists might have limited knowledge about the places they’ve been to, making it difficult for them to paint a whole scene of where they had been. To resolve this, the police made use of exceptions carved out in the telecommunications privacy laws of Australia to determine and retrace where their phones had been, easily revealing the places they’ve visited. In addition, media reports also state that the Chinese couple has been very cooperative to the authorities even if there is a language barriers, eliminating any indication that they were forced to reveal their personal data or do anything that the police had asked. The real estate company wherein the couple happened to visit to attend a house auction decided that the company, as well as its staff should go on a lockdown. They also tried everything they could to reach other visitors and guests who attended the same auction.  

new Apple maps to track down
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Apart from this, it is also important to reveal that the authorities didn’t follow the movements of the couple using the same initiatives that Google Maps might carry out. Instead, they used a cutting-edge method to track down the location of the two tourists and determine the places they’ve visited. Basically, once you used your cell phone, it “pings” to a cell tower and cell carriers have the right to store that information on their file to review their networks, aside from other uses.

Innovative location tracker

Besides this, it also transforms your mobile device into a location tracker, regardless of whether you are aware of it or not. Take note that switching off the location services doesn’t remove the tracking ability of your phone. Though this might seem scary to you but tracking location through cell tower pings doesn’t typically mean that your information will be revealed. It only builds a map of movements, without getting or revealing other forms of information stored on the phone.

Law enforcement in the United States have utilized this innovative method to solve crimes and other problems faced by the police for years, however a Supreme Court ruling in the year 2019 stated that police has to secure a warrant to gain access to such information before moving forward. The threat of a deadly virus is enough excuse to utilize this location data even if people choose not to participate. Though this isn’t usually the issue moving forward, still it is not dehumanizing at all.