Home > In The Home > Your Privacy on Your Mobile Phone

Your Privacy on Your Mobile Phone

By: Anna Hinds BA (hons) - Updated: 11 Dec 2017 | comments*Discuss
Mobile Phone Privacy Mobile Phone

Are you being tracked? New technology allows distrustful spouses or anxious parents to track your mobile phone locating your position at any time of day. And that’s not the only threat to your privacy. Far more worrying are the eavesdroppers, covert photographers, and shops that use your mobile to deliver unwanted ads…

Tracking Your Location

The mobile tracking you’ve probably seen on television is now being offered to the general public. This news has wrought terror in thousands of young teenagers and spouses who prefer to keep their leisure activities private. Tracking companies are even targeting employers, who are able to track their staff members and receive detailed reports on their daily movements.How does it work? Mobile phone tracking is set up using the SIM card, with an ID number that trackers can then enter online to view a real-time location. Although this can be legitimately initiated by asking permission from the phone user, the system is open to misuse. A journalist experimented by tracking his girlfriend – he set up the track while he was at home, then borrowed her mobile and accepted the trace (sending an acceptance message). Although the tracking company is legally required to send occasional warning messages to the trackee’s mobile, the journalist reported that none of the phones in his experiment received any such warnings. Other journalists have found that it is perfectly possible to track someone for two or more days before they receive a warning.

How do you avoid it? Fortunately, the Data Protection Act saves the day. Tracking companies are legally obliged to ask permission from the tracked person, and then to offer options for dropping out or registering preferences. For instance, a tracked teenager can contact the tracking company to stop them carrying out traces on weekends. If you suspect you’re being tracked, look out for suspicious text messages, and keep your mobile switched off when you don’t need to receive any calls.

Camera Phones – The New Threat

Mobiles carry another major threat to our privacy. Privacy International has, for more than three years, campaigned against camera phones. They argue that every mobile phone should incorporate a flash, warning subjects of the camera, to prevent covert photography from taking place.

Ever since the invention of the traditional camera, experts have raised concerns about the privacy issues around photography. The fact that you can be snapped in the street, in your garden, or on holiday, without your consent, contains a host of security implications. Secret photography has been published on the internet, broadcast on the news, and even used for blackmail.Camera phones have multiplied the problems. Their small size and innocent appearance make them perfect for voyeurs or blackmailers. While you’re unlikely to be photographed in intimate positions, it’s terribly easy for someone to photograph you in a shop dressing room or a public swimming pool. In Australia mobiles are banned in and around swimming pools. In Korea, the voyeur problem became so bad that the government stepped in and took action. Phone manufacturers are required to incorporate a camera ‘click’ noise of 65 decibels+. Privacy International is calling for similar measures in the UK, although they haven’t yet been able to influence a decision. The association is pushing for international standards in order to put a stop to the privacy invasion problems.

What can you do?

  • Switch your mobile phone off when not in use

  • Don’t give out your mobile phone number on forms – use your landline

  • Don’t transmit your credit card details via your mobile.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hello I will speak about thisin office
Donald Obama POTUS - 11-Dec-17 @ 3:25 PM
My mobile phone has been hacked for about 5 years now.Or should I say my mobile number.Whenever I change my number as soon as I contact my friends my number becomes hacked again.Someone suggested that my friend's mobile phones have viruses on them and that they are also hacked.My phone was hacked because I have been framed on social media.A video of me was taken through my bedroom window (through a chink in the curtains it appears) and put, unbeknownst to me, on a social media site. The police refuse to have a look at my mobile phone and are doing nothing about finding the site.
Beth - 29-Mar-16 @ 12:22 PM
My grandson is 18years and six months old and was not told that his phone was being tracked until his phone received an alarm which he did not recognisein the early hours of last Friday morning whilst staying at his cousins house and several times since.His father is the account holder of the phone and his parents had decided to have his phone tracked along with his younger sister and brothers phones in case of loss. As my grandson is over 18 should he have been consulted and given the option to refuse in the light of him no longer being a child but an adult. Many thanks Mr Chris Hayward
Pluuff - 4-Aug-15 @ 2:07 PM
Since the hacking scandal really broke, we know more about privacy on mobiles, and that we need more than a default security code to access voicemails. With iPhones there are also apps like Track My iPhone, which lets your pinpoint the phone if it's lost or stolen. Security services can also track a phone very closely, and that's legal. In other words, total privacy is impossible, but you can take steps to keep things as private as possible - which might be less than you imagine.
William T - 25-Jun-12 @ 10:42 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Concerned
    Re: Employee Surveillance
    My company has installed CCTV cameras with microphones in the staff changing rooms (Male and female). I this forbidden? I feel like it’s a…
    2 November 2019
  • olady
    Re: Your Medical Records
    For a doctor and midwife to have rights to gossip and lied against a patient for no good reason and sharing the patients information up and…
    29 October 2019
  • Boof
    Re: Do They Have the Right to Use My Photo on Website?
    Hello, a company that I used to work for five years ago has used my photograph without my permission…
    21 October 2019
  • frh60
    Re: Do They Have the Right to Use My Photo on Website?
    My husband was fired and then his photos were used for propaganda because clients and customers and…
    12 September 2019
  • Gavlar83
    Re: Employee Surveillance
    My employer has recently fitted a microphone in our small office which has a maximum of 2 people working in there at any one time. They…
    28 August 2019
  • Gavlar83
    Re: Employee Surveillance
    My employer has fitted a microphone in our office. We already have 4 cameras pointing at us and our screens in this small office where only…
    28 August 2019
  • Jacko
    Re: Your Privacy Rights at Work
    Steward of club know cameras are present when installed spoke to committee did any of them have access to cameras on phone were…
    27 August 2019
  • Susie Doll
    Re: Do They Have the Right to Use My Photo on Website?
    I have discovered that a company has used a photo of me in a document that has been submitted to our…
    26 August 2019
  • Bertie
    Re: Employee Surveillance
    My company has installed cameras in the warehouse, outside the premises AND in the offices. Nobody has spoken to us about them they just…
    22 August 2019
  • Cyw
    Re: Can I Use CCTV to Record Meetings in my Home?
    I own a drive from the public road into my property, on which is situated six rented houses which I own. A…
    13 August 2019