Advantages & Disadvantages of Mobile Tracking • The Motorola DynaTAC, the first mobile telephone, ushered in a revolution in wireless communication in 1973. Today, mobile devices combined with technological advancements provide several benefits, including tracking minors and emergency-location service enhancements. The Global Positioning System (GPS), a “constellation” of 24 U. S. Department of Defense satellites, has enhanced mobile-tracking technology. However, with technological advancement comes the possibility of negative effects or misuse. Law Enforcement Advantages • Mobile technology enhances location services and reduces emergency-response time. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), United States emergency personnel estimate that 50 percent of calls are placed using a mobile device. Through the integration of FCC-enforced Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) and GPS, when you call for emergency services, the call is routed to the nearest cell-phone tower regardless of mobile-service provider. Mobile tracking automatically communicates the phone number and location of the caller to a PSAP that manages the area. Law Enforcement Disadvantages • A disadvantage of law-enforcement access to mobile-tracking technology is the sheer number of inquiries. Sprint Nextel, a wireless-service provider, provided law-enforcement agencies with GPS location information on its customers over 8 million times between September 2008 and October 2009, according to a Sprint Nextel manager at the ISS World conference in October 2009. The number of inquiries coupled with the time required to respond can prohibit law enforcement from acquiring valuable time-sensitive information during a criminal investigation. Location Service Advantages • Mobile-tracking technology increases the chances of finding someone quickly. Most cell phones contain GPS technology, which can establish a person’s whereabouts by calculating the location, speed and time of his cell-phone signal. Children with cell phones that include GPS technology and location services can thus be located quickly. Concealed GPS devices can assist with locating runaway teens. They also provide a more reliable service due to their concealed nature.
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