Princeton University

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Phones vulnerable to location tracking even when GPS services off

December 1, 2017

Princeton researchers (Prof. Prateek Mittal, Prof. Niraj Jha, EE Grad Students Arsalan Mosenia and Xiaoliang Dai) have found that smartphone data can be used to track users even when the phone’s GPS is off.  The app, called PinMe, mines information already stored on smartphones that — unlike GPS —doesn’t require permission for access. When computed along with publicly available maps and weather reports, this data can help identify if a person is traveling by foot, car, train or airplane, and chart their route of travel.  More details can be found here.