12-03-09 05:36 PM
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  1. Jim from NW Pa's Avatar
    Have an idea on how to improve my fire department but have a question before I jump into research. If a person calls 911 from a mobile and EMA activates E911 locating on the phone what's the margin of error on the location they come up with?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    12-01-09 05:30 PM
  2. Gawain's Avatar
    Have an idea on how to improve my fire department but have a question before I jump into research. If a person calls 911 from a mobile and EMA activates E911 locating on the phone what's the margin of error on the location they come up with?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    It's not solely dependent on the carrier. There are standards at local and regional levels, and I think there are benchmarks that must be met in the next two or three years.

    The issues still being resolved are location to indoor calls being made, and likely rural areas where there may be only one tower, and no way to triangulate.

    The current standard allows for a location area of between 50 and 300 meters, but that depends on the network, the answering point, and even the device being used.

    That is also why I have always had a hard line in my house, from the "real" phone company.
    12-01-09 08:18 PM
  3. Jim from NW Pa's Avatar
    so what you are saying is that the margin of error currently is 300 meters worst case scenario
    12-01-09 08:35 PM
  4. gvillager's Avatar
    Have an idea on how to improve my fire department but have a question before I jump into research. If a person calls 911 from a mobile and EMA activates E911 locating on the phone what's the margin of error on the location they come up with?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Just out of curiosity... What's your idea? If you don't mind sharing.
    12-01-09 09:10 PM
  5. Jim from NW Pa's Avatar
    Just out of curiosity... What's your idea? If you don't mind sharing.
    we have 3-5 lost hunter, or injured hunter calls per year.... just figured that if 911 can give us their approximate location, they would be able to give us their approximate lat/lon coordinates as well..... tell them to stay put when they call....... department buys a GPS, plugs the coordinates in, and walk straight to them......
    12-01-09 09:26 PM
  6. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar
    Here is the problem, Jim - how many people are going to be willing to give up privacy for that? There is a movement starting that is calling for completely disabling GPS & e911.

    He who trades freedom for security deserves neither.

    It is no one's business where I am at any given moment - which is why I have disabled e911 in many of my devices.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    12-01-09 10:28 PM
  7. Jim from NW Pa's Avatar
    i know that personally if I had the option of the fire department knowing where my phone is for an hour or dying from exposure in the woods, I would take the former.
    12-01-09 10:31 PM
  8. kch50428's Avatar
    Jim - is your FD's dispatch center/E911 call center even able to deal with cellular location data? There's your first step in the process - make sure the e911/dispatch center has the capability of dealing with location data from a cellular 911 call.

    From there, the resolution of location can be as little as 7 meters - depending on the quality of the GPS chip in the phone, and number of gps satellites the phone is picking up, being indoors or out... I've seen my BB Tour's GPS resolve to 7 meters in my living room - best I've seen.
    Last edited by kch50428; 12-01-09 at 11:34 PM.
    12-01-09 11:31 PM
  9. Jim from NW Pa's Avatar
    Jim - is your FD's dispatch center/E911 call center even able to deal with cellular location data? There's your first step in the process - make sure the e911/dispatch center has the capability of dealing with location data from a cellular 911 call.

    From there, the resolution of location can be as little as 7 meters - depending on the quality of the GPS chip in the phone, and number of gps satellites the phone is picking up, being indoors or out... I've seen my BB Tour's GPS resolve to 7 meters in my living room - best I've seen.
    Situation surrounding this idea. Monday night we had a search/rescue for a lost hunter. 911 activated E911 tracking and reported his GPS as approx. 1/4 mile from a physical address. I just thought that it would really speed things up if EMA could just give us exact coordinates, we plug them into a GPS, and boom! Go right too the guy.
    12-01-09 11:39 PM
  10. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar
    i know that personally if I had the option of the fire department knowing where my phone is for an hour or dying from exposure in the woods, I would take the former.
    There are solutions which do not include having your every move watched, monitored & recorded every minute of everyday that your phone is on - and soon even when your phone is not on.
    12-02-09 12:38 AM
  11. Gawain's Avatar
    Situation surrounding this idea. Monday night we had a search/rescue for a lost hunter. 911 activated E911 tracking and reported his GPS as approx. 1/4 mile from a physical address. I just thought that it would really speed things up if EMA could just give us exact coordinates, we plug them into a GPS, and boom! Go right too the guy.
    Just a practical question: Are these lost hunters usually in areas that even have cell coverage, or was this example you cited an exception to the rule? There are already dedicated GPS emergency beacon solutions that offer far better accuracy, and work without terrestrial cell coverage (albeit more expensive).

    As for the 911 answering point passing on GPS LAT/LONG, it may be possible, but again it depends on the device, coverage, and standards that the municipality is using in their 911 center.
    12-02-09 08:50 AM
  12. i7guy's Avatar
    There are solutions which do not include having your every move watched, monitored & recorded every minute of everyday that your phone is on - and soon even when your phone is not on.
    Other than the 1984 view of the world, would my moves be watched, monitored and recorded if I pulled the battery from my cell phone?

    If that is the case, we the people got what we deserve. The only solution is on the first Tuesday of November.
    12-02-09 09:16 AM
  13. Jim from NW Pa's Avatar
    Just a practical question: Are these lost hunters usually in areas that even have cell coverage, or was this example you cited an exception to the rule? There are already dedicated GPS emergency beacon solutions that offer far better accuracy, and work without terrestrial cell coverage (albeit more expensive).

    As for the 911 answering point passing on GPS LAT/LONG, it may be possible, but again it depends on the device, coverage, and standards that the municipality is using in their 911 center.
    Depends on their carrier

    So I guess I will need to speak to the county EMA to determine if this would be feasible......
    12-02-09 10:48 AM
  14. jahoobob's Avatar
    What about GPS enabled phones? Do they send out coordinates based on tower triangulation or GPS?
    12-02-09 01:44 PM
  15. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar
    Other than the 1984 view of the world, would my moves be watched, monitored and recorded if I pulled the battery from my cell phone?
    Yes - the technology is here.

    If you want to be tracked, fine - that is your choice. A few options I briefly touched upon were elabotated on a bit more by Gawain above. One is particularly telling - Onstar.

    Onstar tracks you ONLY on your command OR in a process authorized by you, such as an airbag being triggered. Some will ask what would stop GM/Onstar from simply deciding to track you without your permission - the automatic location is something you can turn off and it cannot be remotely reactivated.

    Regardless, I have an option - a choice. With e911, we don't have a choice. This is particularly bothersome considering several privacy-protection amendments were voted down in creating e911. There us NOTHING that prevents your cell carrier from using, selling or giving away this info on you.

    Sorry folks, but our system of government is supposed to be one of extremely limited powers. Objecting to this type of privacy intrusion is not 1984 - it is 1776.

    Want a scenario where government is allowed to track you? Cuba, China, Venezuela, Libya, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Russia... just to name a few.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    12-02-09 06:22 PM
  16. tsguy52's Avatar
    Have an idea on how to improve my fire department but have a question before I jump into research. If a person calls 911 from a mobile and EMA activates E911 locating on the phone what's the margin of error on the location they come up with?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Here's more information on the topic:

    Answers to FAQs
    12-02-09 07:12 PM
  17. tsguy52's Avatar
    Regardless, I have an option - a choice. With e911, we don't have a choice. This is particularly bothersome considering several privacy-protection amendments were voted down in creating e911. There us NOTHING that prevents your cell carrier from using, selling or giving away this info on you.
    Wow really? You are a wealth of information. Do you have any understanding of privacy laws? There is something that prevents unauthorized use. They call themselves the FCC - ever heard of them?

    SEC. 5. AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE CUSTOMER INFORMATION.
    Section 222 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C.
    222)
    is amended
    (1) in subsection (d)
    (A) by striking or at the end of paragraph (2);
    (B) by striking the period at the end of paragraph
    (3) and inserting a semicolon and and; and
    (C) by adding at the end the following:
    (4) to provide call location information concerning the
    user of a commercial mobile service (as such term is defined
    in section 332(d))
    (A) to a public safety answering point, emergency
    medical service provider or emergency dispatch provider,
    public safety, fire service, or law enforcement official, or
    hospital emergency or trauma care facility, in order to
    respond to the users call for emergency services;

    (B)
    to inform the users legal guardian or members
    of the users immediate family of the users location in
    an emergency situation that involves the risk of death
    or serious physical harm; or

    S. 8004
    (C)
    to providers of information or database management
    services solely for purposes of assisting in the delivery
    of emergency services in response to an emergency..

    (2) by redesignating subsection (f) as subsection (h) and
    by inserting the following after subsection (e):

    (f) AUTHORITY TO USE WIRELESS LOCATION INFORMATION.
    For purposes of subsection (c)(1), without the express prior
    authorization of the customer, a customer shall not be considered
    to have approved the use or disclosure of or access to

    (1) call location information concerning the user of a
    commercial mobile service (as such term is defined in section
    332(d)), other than in accordance with subsection (d)(4); or

    (2) automatic crash notification information to any person
    other than for use in the operation of an automatic crash
    notification system.
    12-02-09 07:24 PM
  18. Gawain's Avatar
    Yes - the technology is here.

    If you want to be tracked, fine - that is your choice. A few options I briefly touched upon were elabotated on a bit more by Gawain above. One is particularly telling - Onstar.

    Onstar tracks you ONLY on your command OR in a process authorized by you, such as an airbag being triggered. Some will ask what would stop GM/Onstar from simply deciding to track you without your permission - the automatic location is something you can turn off and it cannot be remotely reactivated.

    Regardless, I have an option - a choice. With e911, we don't have a choice. This is particularly bothersome considering several privacy-protection amendments were voted down in creating e911. There us NOTHING that prevents your cell carrier from using, selling or giving away this info on you.

    Sorry folks, but our system of government is supposed to be one of extremely limited powers. Objecting to this type of privacy intrusion is not 1984 - it is 1776.

    Want a scenario where government is allowed to track you? Cuba, China, Venezuela, Libya, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Russia... just to name a few.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    You and I are of the same opinion in the "political" ramifications. However, you are incorrect about OnStar. That can be activated remotely.

    As for the e911, I don't think the carriers, particularly Verizon, are that care free with that kind of information. Back in the day when I worked for GTE/VZ/VZW, I was a part of a culture that was in no way careless with CPNI.

    Remember all the hoo-plah about some of the carriers wanting to set up a wireless directory? IIRC, VZW in particular not only said no, they said, "h3ll no" and that idea died a quick, quiet death.

    Having said all that, even without a GPS chip, a phone can still be somewhat located based on where it registers with the network. The major e911 improvements five-ish years ago were still centered around traditional telephony, and many municipalities still aren't fully updated yet. So, we'll see I guess.

    As for intrusion...well...
    12-02-09 11:41 PM
  19. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar
    Wow really? You are a wealth of information. Do you have any understanding of privacy laws? There is something that prevents unauthorized use. They call themselves the FCC - ever heard of them?
    I think you need to keep your day job. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 effectively gutted the act you're referring to. You might want to look into it before opening your mouth on things you have no clue about. You certainly know little about telecom.

    An E911-capable phone gives your wireless carrier continual updates on your location. If the phone is embedded with a Global Positioning System chip, they can calculate your coordinates to within a few yards by receiving signals from satellites instead of mile. GPS technology gives U.S. military commanders a vital edge, while sailors and pilots & others depend on it. In the E911-capable phone, the GPS chip does not wait until it senses danger, springing to life when catastrophe strikes; it's switched on whenever your handset is powered up and is always ready to transmit your location data back to a wireless carrier's computers. Verizon or T-Mobile or Sprint can figure out which manicurist you visit just as easily as they can pinpoint a stranded motorist on Highway 70.

    So what's preventing them from doing so, at the behest of either direct marketers or, perhaps more chillingly, the police? Not the 1996 or 1999 law, which are both essentially mum on the subject of location-data privacy. As often happens with emergent technology, the law has struggled to keep pace with the gizmo. No federal statute is keeping your wireless provider from informing Dunkin' Donuts that your visits to Starbucks have been dropping off and you may be ripe for a special coupon offer. Nor are cops explicitly required to obtain a judicial warrant before compiling a record of where you snuck off to last Thursday night. Despite such obvious potential for abuse, the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, the American consumer's supposed protectors, show little enthusiasm for stepping into the breach. As things stand now, the only barrier to the dissemination of your daily movements is the benevolence of the telecommunications industry.

    But wait - the latest e911 technologies not only allow tracking with the phone off, they also make it easier for anyone to get the info - with or without the assistance of the telco you're on.

    I have stated on these pages that VZW was probably the most trustworthy with your information - but that may not be enough before long.

    And - CPNI does not cover LBS.

    And Gawain - Onstar can be disabled - it doesn't come that way & the ability to do it is not advertised, but you can program it out without affecting the rest of the operation.
    12-03-09 02:28 AM
  20. tsguy52's Avatar
    Dude.. what I posted was an ammendment to that act in 1999! To provide customers privacy provisions.. You won't give up! I didn't even read all of your post. When you educate yourself on policy and the ability to comprehend law, then please come back and have a debate. You are showing your true colors.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    12-03-09 06:48 AM
  21. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar
    Dude.. what I posted was an ammendment to that act in 1999! To provide customers privacy provisions.. You won't give up! I didn't even read all of your post. When you educate yourself on policy and the ability to comprehend law, then please come back and have a debate. You are showing your true colors.
    Earlier this year, in a four to three ruling, New York's highest court rejected the use of GPS technology by law enforcement to track an individual's movements without first obtaining a warrant. Over the past several years, GPS technology has become an increasingly ubiquitous convenience. As the technology's prevalence and utility grows, however, the potential for its abuse raises important and delicate questions of constitutional law that remain largely unsettled.

    With its decision, the New York Court of Appeals joined the Washington Supreme Court in concluding that government GPS tracking requires a warrant. They are mostly the exceptions. Most courts have reached the opposite conclusion. In the most prominent case to yet address the issue, Judge Posner wrote for the Seventh Circuit in United States v. Garcia that the tactic did not in itself trigger the warrant protections of the Fourth Amendment.

    Judge Posner's reasoning on this issue unfortunately was based on his interpretation of the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Knotts, which permitted police to use simple "beeper" technology without a warrant when tracking a single suspect's movements. Knotts, however, is of limited value here. First, the court acknowledged that in the event that "dragnet-type" twenty-four hour surveillance were to become a reality, "different constitutional principles may be applicable." Second, the technology addressed in Knotts simply isn't analogous to the capabilities of GPS. Whereas beeper technology "augmented" officers' own visual observations, GPS technology provides a complete and superior substitute for physical tracking. In more recent decisions, the Court has indicated that similarly sophisticated techniques such as thermal imaging and satellite surveillance technologies require a warrant.

    For his part, the judge didn't rule out that GPS tracking may require a warrant in the event that it's applied on a "mass" basis. But such a distinction wrongly suggests that the Fourth Amendment affords less privacy protection to individuals than to victims on a mass scale.

    Court rulings are also finding that the e911 provisions & FCC interference warnings are sufficient cause to suggest implied consent. In other words, in using a phone, your permission is automatically assumed.

    Two issues govern whether a warrant is required under the Fourth Amendment: (1) whether the government has intruded into a matter as to which an individual has exhibited an actual expectation of privacy; and (2) whether the individual's expectation of privacy is one that society is prepared to recognize as reasonable. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have been encouraging courts to adopt an analysis that recognizes the bold realities of GPS surveillance and the public's reasonable expectation of not being subject to its powerful tracking around the clock, but they have mostly been failing, based on the wording of the Fourth Amendment. An individual has no reasonable expectation of privacy in carrying one of these devices.

    Absent a warrant requirement, the police could track unlimited numbers of citizens for months at a time, without ever leaving their desks. No person with a GPS-enabled cell phone could be confident that he or she was free from round-the-clock surveillance by a network of satellites logging past movements with utmost precision, even potentially noting the time and location that person crossed paths with other GPS-tracked individuals.

    This surveillance also implicates our First Amendment rights to associate privately with others. In NAACP v. Alabama, the Supreme Court held that a court could not compel the NAACP to produce its membership list because the First Amendment protects "freedom to associate and privacy in one's associations." By the same token, GPS tracking can reveal whether a person associates with a particular religious organization, visits a NRA facility, or attends a meeting of an unpopular political organization - information that is just as revealing as a membership list. The Supreme Court has also emphasized that the warrant requirement should be "scrupulously observed" when First Amendment concerns are presented.

    While the reasonable expectation of privacy is certainly an evolving standard, the time has come to recognize that government GPS tracking offends this expectation. Although a number of empirical studies support this proposition, it doesn't require scientific evidence to understand that the Big Brother of Orwell's 1984 retains its emotive power precisely because people expect that they enjoy freedom from extensive technological tracking by the government.

    It is rather interesting that they don't give you the ability to turn this feature off. That, in itself, should be offensive to most people.

    So, I ask you again - what you quoted was a reduction of the protections included in the 1934 law - if what you are putting forth is an adequate prohibition of using e911 or cell phone GPS, why do we have all of these conflicting opinions? The reality is, the FCC has fully declined participation & claims no place in enforcement. The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to rule on the matter. The Patriot Act actually gives permission to use the information for any purpose deemed to be needed by any law enforcement authority for whatever reason. In the past year, a law was passed which specifically excludes carriers from liability in providing access to this information. And new technology allows people to track this information via the Internet.

    But the Twitter generation couldn't care less about privacy - they tell the world their whereabouts anyway. Such fools.
    12-03-09 08:57 AM
  22. i7guy's Avatar
    Not everybody is from the Twitter generation. The only tweet that means anything to me is from my parrot.

    I do not believe cellular technology can reach into your phone and have it start transmitting location information gathered from the gps chip. Clearly cell phone users are tracked as their cell phones connect to the towers. Of course any digital transmission, including computer, cell phone, cable boxes and soon your electric meters are most likely tracked by the government. Facial and license plate recognition devices exist and are used. Many public areas are now under survelliance.

    Other than being like Ted Kaczynski, the first Tuesday in November is the the antidote for many of these issues.
    12-03-09 09:15 AM
  23. Gawain's Avatar
    I don't mean to fan the flames...well, I do, but you know...

    Sprint handed customer GPS data to law enforcement over 8 million times last year -- Engadget

    PPCGeeks Blog Archive [Updated] Sprint Revealed GPS Data 8 Million Times To Govt.

    edit to add:
    Feds ‘Pinged’ Sprint GPS Data 8 Million Times Over a Year | Threat Level | Wired.com

    I like this quote: "The spokesman also said that law enforcement agents have to obtain a court order for the data, except in special emergency circumstances." What exactly is a "special emergency circumstance" and how does that get validated?
    Last edited by Gawain; 12-03-09 at 10:59 AM.
    12-03-09 10:29 AM
  24. sorlipm's Avatar
    Not everybody is from the Twitter generation. The only tweet that means anything to me is from my parrot.

    I do not believe cellular technology can reach into your phone and have it start transmitting location information gathered from the gps chip. Clearly cell phone users are tracked as their cell phones connect to the towers. Of course any digital transmission, including computer, cell phone, cable boxes and soon your electric meters are most likely tracked by the government. Facial and license plate recognition devices exist and are used. Many public areas are now under survelliance.

    Other than being like Ted Kaczynski, the first Tuesday in November is the the antidote for many of these issues.
    You might not belive it, but they can. if you phone is on they can track you,
    it dosnt start transmitting from the phn company reaching into your phone, your phone starts transmitting as soon as you turn it on,thats what Twins was talking about
    12-03-09 12:59 PM
  25. i7guy's Avatar
    You might not belive it, but they can. if you phone is on they can track you,
    it dosnt start transmitting from the phn company reaching into your phone, your phone starts transmitting as soon as you turn it on,thats what Twins was talking about
    I agree you can be tracked via the cell phone towers, but I don't believe the GPS chip sends out signals when you are a) not on a call, b) not on an e911 call and c) you turned location management off.

    I'm not sure it really matters much because you don't need a gps chip to be tracked anyway.

    I couldn't find it, but a link would be helpful.
    12-03-09 01:22 PM
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