Can cell phones track your movements when turned off

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The short and simple answer here is an emphatic NO, whatever conspiracy theorists and those wishing to sell you gadgets are trying to claim.

One caveat I would like to add there and that is if a cell phone would be fitted with a GPS tracker that is kept active without the phone being on tracking would be possible.

However, so far as I understand none of the phone around currently, even if they are fully GPS equipped, transmit a signal when they are turned off. Period.

However, there are always some people who want to scare the people such as Nick Rosen of Off-Grid, formerly, or is it a case of still, with the Ecologist, in a piece called “Cell phone black-out

In this piece on Off-Grid Nick Rosen claims that...

“Even when your cell is switched off, it is still a mobile tracking device in your pocket. Now a new invention promises to give you back control over who can call you, or track you.”

And he then proceeds as follows:

“The MIAmobi SilentPocket is a simple bag, with a special lining, into which you drop your cell phone, router, pager or any other wireless device.

It blocks all comms signals — in or out. through its “99% Nano-Silver lining.” You could argue that it is cheaper to take out your batteries, but at $65, some will prefer the convenience of the blackout bag. Especially as it operates on other gadgets as well including the chip in your passport or credit cards through RFID Blocking~ which protects your Credit Cards, Passport, & SmartKeys. Other benefits include: Restricts Texting and Cell Phone use when Driving and allows you to pay full attention to Family and Friends.”

But then this is in reality an advertisement that Mr Rosen did, or you could call it a “sponsored review” and it has nothing to do with reality.

Reality is that when your cell phone, or mobile phone, as it is called in Britain, or Handy in Germany, is turned off it is NOT transmitting any signal and is NOT trackable. Unless, that is, as I said in the beginning, it is fitted with a device, often called a transponder, which transmits a location signal for some tracking purposes.

In general, however, your cell phone, as it comes from your supplier, new out of the box, will not have an such transponder fitted and thus, when the phone is switched off, it will not send any signals and therefore you cannot be tracked.

With the amount of cell phones that are in use, and especially the amount of pre-pay one that are not registered to anyone by name it would be rather tricky to track each and every one of them, whatever capacity the security services have to so this.

The other point also is to why should they bother. They are rather busy with many other things.

What Nick Rosen is doing, in the same way as many others, is scaremongering in order to sell books and products. It has been going on since well before Y2K and once the cold war ended, and then there was no Y2K meltdown, the merchants of doom had to find another avenue. They have found it, it would seem.

Please, people, use proper discernment when it comes to many such articles and messages... Not simply because you don't trust the government (I don't either) it does not mean that they are having a tag on each and every one of the cell phones, etc. out there.

© 2012