“You could go crazy thinking of how unprivate our lives really are – the omnipresent security cameras, the tracking data on our very smartphones, the porous state of our Internet selves, the trail of electronic crumbs we leave every day.” – Susan Orlean
The fact that both physical movements and electronic communications can be tracked via the latest mobile technology has resulted in and will continue to lead to heated discussions on the merits of and the privacy issues around the validity of tracking apps.
As the quotation mentioned above by Susan Orlean states, unless we explicitly remove our electronic footprint and evidence of our online movements, it is easy to track our online movements
Before we discuss the advantages of a tracking app, let’s have a quick look at how the app functions. Essentially, it consists of two parts: the app itself and the online dashboard which is stored on a server in the cloud. The app uses the phone’s mobile data to upload data to the cloud server, which is then accessible by registering and logging into the online dashboard.
Therefore, for the app to function optimally, the phone needs to have active mobile data at all times. as we leave an electronic trail or footprint behind us. This, in turn, allows software such as mobile tracking software to be successfully used to track mobile phone users’ movements.
Benefits of using a mobile tracking app
It is important to note that a case can be made against the use of the mobile tracking app because it can be seen as a violation of the privacy laws and the mobile phone user’s right to privacy. However, a more significant case can be made for the use of this app to keep track of children, infirm, disabled, and the elderly.
Before we discuss the advantages of a tracking app, let’s have a quick look at how the app functions. Essentially, it consists of two parts: the app itself and the online dashboard which is stored on a server in the cloud. The app uses the phone’s mobile data to upload data to the cloud server, which is then accessible by registering and logging into the online dashboard. Therefore, for the app to function optimally, the phone needs to have active mobile data at all times.
By way of an explanation of the tracking app’s benefits, let’s consider the following examples:
Case study 1
A close family member has been diagnosed with dementia, and you are concerned that he will wander off and get lost. A simple solution to this problem is to install a mobile tracking app onto his cell phone. This will give you the following benefits:
- GPS tracking: The tracking app uses the phone’s built in GPS functionality to track the phone owner’s physical movements. Therefore, if the family member wanders off, you can login to the online dashboard and track his movements. This will make it easier for you to find him.
- Geofencing: Geofencing, on the other hand, is the setting up of virtual boundaries in a certain geographic location. Therefore, you will be able to fence off a certain area and when your family member physically moves out of that location, the tracking app will send you a warning message.
Case study 2
Your daughter has been subjected to cyberbullying, and you need to track her mobile communications to keep her safe. Again, the simplest solution is to install a mobile tracking app on her phone. This will allow you to track both her physical movements and her mobile communications such as instant messages, phone calls, social media posts, as well as multimedia messages.
As per the first case study, a record of all your daughter’s communications is uploaded onto the online server and is available to view via your dashboard.
Some phone trackers are free to use, like the Easy logger, learn more here.