Mobile phone tracking services work by identifying the physical location of a mobile phone or other mobile device. This could be your own mobile phone or the mobile phone of a relative, friend or work colleague.

A wide range of new services are possible using location services including telling you how to get to the nearest cash machine or chemist; allowing a parent to identify the location of his or her child; making it easier for friends to meet up for an evening out; and assisting firms with the security of lone workers.

All mobile phone tracking services are subject to the legal requirements of the Data Protection Act. To see this in action view our demonstration here. For consumers this means that mobile tracking information can be used only after consent is provided by the user of the phone being located. For business users, employers must explain to their employees how mobile tracking information will be used before it is collected.

The Data Protection Act requires that customers are made aware of:
∑ who their mobile tracking company is;
∑ the purposes for which personal data - including location information - will be collected and processed;
∑ whether data will be sent to a third party for the purpose of providing the location service and length of time for processing data, including storage, will be.

In addition to data protection legislation, participants in the UK location services industry - including both location service providers and mobile phone operators - have agreed a Code of Practice for the provision of location services. This Code of Practice sets out additional requirements for different types of mobile tracing services. This includes requirements relating to:
∑ registration of individuals and organisations using location and mobile tracing information;
∑ provision of reminders on location services operating on a mobile phone;;
∑ how customers can stop a locating service which is running on their phone and prevent tracking of a mobile; and
∑ responsibilities of a locating business or other organisation.
While details vary, all mobile tracking services depend on the disclosure of where you are to companies or to other individuals. This offers you significant opportunities to use new services. However, these services should be used with the same care as you would take in telling other people your location in a phone call or SMS. Further, unlike a phone call or SMS, they can provide information on your location over a period of time.

Only consent to the use of your mobie phone being tracked if you would be willing to provide the same company or individual with details of where you are in a phone call or SMS. Be aware that your consent may apply for a period of time. Donít forget that you can withdraw your consent to the mobile phone tracking at any time.

If you have any concerns about your safety which relate to the operation of our mobile tracing service then you should contact us as soon as you are able on 0871 425 4422 or email us at imconcerned@followus.co.uk.

Only consent to the use of your location information if you would be willing to provide the same company or individual with details of where you are in a phone call or SMS. Be aware that your consent may apply for a period of time. Donít forget that you can withdraw your consent to being located at any time.

If you have immediate safety concerns then you should, as in other circumstances, contact the police by dialling 999 or 112.

If a user of a location service believes that the industry Code of Practice isbeing breached by the location service provider, he or she may contact the Mobile Broadband Group by e-mail at mobilebg@btopenworld.com or write to The Secretariat, Mobile Broadband Group, PO Box 34586, London SE15 5YA.

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