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James
James, Sr. Computer Support Expert
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 15510
Experience:  20 years of experience building, fixing and servicing PCs and operating systems.
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Iphone question at&t family map is based upon gps locate.

Customer Question

Iphone question: at&t family map is based upon gps locate. Is there any way to turn off in Iphone setting and not letting people locate you? At same time it will still able to accept phone call? I know somebody did it, just wondering how to do it.
By same token, if by using same method to turn off gps track , will iphone spyware such as Apple mobileme service, Flexispy function well?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.
You can disable your GPS by going to::

Settings-General-Location Services-Toggle OFF.

Location services incorporates GPS. Turning this off, will turn your GPS off as well.

however, it is still able to fall back to cell tower triangulation, where it is able to get a general idea of where you are (not pin point location though) -- only sure fire way to disable it is to turn on airplane mode or turn off your phone

Edited by James on 4/3/2010 at 6:22 PM EST
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I tried to do that. But it seems not make any difference with AT&T family map location service. By switching location services off, I still able to locate my phone.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Also I know, when I receive message about :"unable locate the phone" for the phone I want to locate, the phone still able to receive my call, so it suggests the phone is not on airplane mode and it is not turned off.
Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.
As I mentioned, if the phone cannot receive a GPS signal, it can also use the cell tower triangulation method to get an approximate location. As far as you saying that at times you will get an "unable to locate the phone" yet still receive a call, it's possible that at that particular time you have very spotty cell signal which is enough to receive a call (perhaps it's only able to connect to one or two towers at that time), yet not enough to get an accurate approximate location (by using multiple/3 towers).
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Not sure you got my message. The issue is that we can get call all the time and can't locate phone location all the time. Not just within a short time. And turn location service in the "setting" on iphone off will not disable "at&T family map" as well. I tried many times.

Is there another method to turn off GPS track service in the Iphone and disable GPS track service other than :
settings-General-Location Services-Toggle OFF.

Thanks.
Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.
I did indeed get your last message, did you get mine? :)


"As I mentioned, if the phone cannot receive a GPS signal, it can also use the cell tower triangulation method to get an approximate location. As far as you saying that at times you will get an "unable to locate the phone" yet still receive a call, it's possible that at that particular time you have very spotty cell signal which is enough to receive a call (perhaps it's only able to connect to one or two towers at that time), yet not enough to get an accurate approximate location (by using multiple/3 towers). "
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes. I did get yours.

But it DOES NOT WORK!. By turning off the way you suggested. I still be able to locate the phone. Do you know is there any way to turn off the locate and be able to receive the phone call in Iphone setting? Please answer this question!

Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.
Hi there,

Sorry about that -- as I mentioned, it is possible for your phone to still receive calls by being able to communicate to at least one tower. With location services turned off (gps), the phone is still able to get an approximate location by using cell tower triangulation; however, if the phone is not able connect to more than a few towers, it would be unable to utilize this method of obtaining a location and therefore would report back to you as unable to retrieve the location (but since it may still be able to reach one cell tower, it would be able to at least receive a voice call).
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Inaccurate answer.
Please find somebody else to answer my question. He does not solve my problem by keeping repeat the solution which is not working.
Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.
I am sorry you do not feel my answer is valid - I will opt out so that you can try and find someone else to give a more accurate response. Should you choose to, you can try calling 611 from your AT&T phone and talk with a represenative there.

Edited by James on 4/5/2010 at 6:36 AM EST
Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.
Hi,
The only way to stop ATT from being able to locate the phone is turn it off, and remove the SIM card. To your question - no, there is no way to turn off the ability to track it and still be able to receive calls.

Thanks,

J.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
That is true in general. I talked to ATT store and they give me the same answer.

But my experience is that someone does be able to "let us unable to locate the phone and still able to receive the call", which means that they did not turn off the phone when " GPS tracking furnction is disabled". May there is some kind software can do this kind trick?
Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.
Absolutely not - this is at a hardware level. As long as the phone is able to communicate with the cell towers, the cell towers can track the phone. No way to turn it off unless the phone is unable to communicate with the cell towers, in which case you can't make calls.

J.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I am not sure how the person I tried to track make this possible. Phone is not able to be located and is able to receive the call.
It is very frustrated and hope you can help me to find the answer. Thanks
Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.
The only way to do this is at the network level - having the provider (ATT) block you from tracking. Just note that ATT can still track any phone that is on.

J.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
  1. Yes. I have talked to ATT provider and they give same information as you suggested. Either turn off the phone or put phone on the airplane mode or take off the phone from att family map plan. They said that is all they can do at network level.
  2. But I know the person I tried to track did not turn off the phone or put phone on the airplane mode or take off the phone from att family map plan. So I still don't know what is going on.
Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.
That means tracking is blocked at the network level - in other words, ATT won't allow you to track. Their servers can still track the phone, they just don't transmit the info to you.

J.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
How does att do to not allow you to track? How do they do to not transmit the info? I called them and they claimed they did not do anything. Since we subsribe the service, so they will not block it.
Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.
They can't and won't give you the info about someone else without their consent. Any one can request that their location cannot be tracked by others, and then you can't track them.

J.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Since it is under family plan, att said the only way to request "not be tracked" is remove the phone number under the plan.They do not take other request. When I am tracking, I also checked the webside and the phone number I am tracking is not being removed.

What is location swith in Iphone do? Earlier your guy said if you turned it off, the phone is not supposed be tracked.
Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.
Okay, I understand now. There are two ways to track a phone. One is via cell tower triangulation. This option cannot be turned off (unless you take out the sim card), but tracking through this is only available to ATT and law enforcement agencies. The other type of tracking is via the built-in GPS chip. This can be turned off by the user of the phone, and then you (as a regular user) cannot track the phone anymore.

J.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I would like to understand the way to turn off track controled by user:
"The other type of tracking is via the built-in GPS chip. This can be turned off by the user of the phone, and then you (as a regular user) cannot track the phone anymore."

Do you have any thought how the user turn off track while they can still receive the call? In iphone, by turning off the location service, I will still be able to track the phone. So I don't think that is the method.
Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.
On the iPhone, if you turn off the location services, you won't be able to track the phone.

J.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
This is not true. I am able to track the phone when I turn the location service off.
Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.
Is the phone the other person have jailbroken?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
not sure. I will check. what is jailbroken doing?
Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.
It allows you to tamper with the phone's internal settings and operating system, install non-apple-approved applications and change various settings that are not available on the regular interface. This is the only way I can think of someone can disable tracking.

See if there is an application called "Cydia" installed. That is a sure proof that the phone is Jailbroken.

J.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks. I will let you know later.
Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.
No problem, and please don't forget to hit Accept for me.

J.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I did not find Cydia application in the iPhone. Basically, I am still not sure how to turn off the GPS locate in the phone setting to disable :"AT&T family map".
Please let me know if you have any new suggestion.
Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.
If the phone is not jailbroken, the only thing the user can do is trun off Location services, in the Settings applet, under "General".

J.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I tried but it is not working.
Expert:  James replied 4 years ago.
What do you mean?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I mean that by turning off location service off under setting, I still be able to track the phone. So in iphone, to stop att family map tracking, the way you suggest by doing "under setting- general- location -off" is not working.

I checked the jailbroken problem, so far no "cydia" icon shown, not sure is there another way to check jailbroken exist? Do we installe jailbroken or it is a virus?

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