When it comes to data privacy, there is far more at stake than you can imagine. While a parent tracking their child’s phone may be reasonable, there are some serious cases when unauthorized monitoring can be very harmful. At this point, you might wonder whether it’s legal to track cell phone number at all, and the answer is affirmative if the privacy laws are observed. In this article, we will discuss the legal concerns of phone tracking and under what circumstances it can be done legitimately. In addition, you will find out how to track phone number location free of charge without violating the law.
Is It Even Possible to Track a Phone by Number?
Despite how much effort you put into safeguarding privacy, practically any device is vulnerable to hacks. There are specialized hacking tools and methods that can be used to track a cell phone by number. And it’s often not even necessary for malware to be manually installed on your phone itself. Sometimes, it’s just enough to click a malicious link or download a dangerous app to have most of your data exposed.
Once the hacker acquires remote access to your device, virtually any phone activity can be tracked:
- Real-time GPS location data
- Text messages (even deleted ones)
- Call logs
- Contacts list
- Photos stored on the phone
- Web browsing history
- Social media activity
Considering the scary amount of personal information that may be illegally extracted from phones, data privacy laws have been put into action. Below, we will cover some common governmental regulations that oversee data privacy.
Privacy Laws Regulating Phone Tracking
Although digital privacy laws differ depending on the specific country and state, there is a common principle they share. Most privacy laws prohibit third parties from tracking a cell phone number without the owner’s explicit consent. For example, in the United States, there are several main laws that regulate phone tracking:
- Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986: ECPA is a federal law that prohibits unauthorized interception, access, and disclosure of electronic communications. The Communications Act applies to emails, phone conversations, and other private information kept on electronic devices.
- The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998: COPPA was designed to protect the privacy of children under the age of 13. The Act requires explicit parental consent before apps or websites can gather any data from children.
- Telephone Records and Privacy Protection Act of 2006: This law was enacted to address the practice of pretexting, where individuals obtain phone records through deceptive means. The Act imposes criminal penalties for acquiring confidential phone record information in a fraudulent way.
But is it legal to track your child or family member to protect them from hazards? Let’s discuss this below.
When Is It Legal to Track a Phone Number?
While fraudulent phone tracking is forbidden by law, you can still monitor your child or employee legally if certain conditions are followed. Generally, it is legal to track a phone number in the following scenarios:
- Parents monitoring minor children
- Business companies tracking corporate devices
- Partner/spouse with consent
- Find My Phone services when the phone is lost
- Law enforcement agency with a warrant
When Is It Illegal to Track a Cell Phone Number?
Unless you want to trace your kid’s phone or have a target person’s permission, it is illegal to track a phone number or location data. In other words, the law strictly prohibits phone tracking for the following purposes:
- Accessing, sharing, or selling anyone’s private data without authorization
- Stalking or harassing someone online
- Tracking employees’ personal devices
- Monitoring by random third parties without a warrant
- Targeted advertising or marketing schemes without permission
The law may vary depending on the jurisdiction. Therefore, we highly recommend checking the local laws to avoid penalties or fines.
How to Legally Track Phone Number Location for Free?
In case you want to make sure your child is safe or want to trace your corporate devices, there is an easy way to track phone location by number for free. GEOfinder.mobi is a legitimate app that was devised for such purposes. This app collects geolocation details from GPS, Wi-Fi, or cellular towers and can show where someone is in a matter of seconds.
To get started with GEOfinder.mobi, you need to choose an SMS text offered by the app and send it to the target person (anonymously). The message will contain a trackable link, and once a person clicks on it, you will receive detailed information about their whereabouts. On top of that, GEOfinder.mobi can check whether the person is connected to the VPN to hide their current location.
How to Protect Yourself from Illegal Phone Tracking?
Now that you are aware of all legal concerns regarding cell phone tracking, let’s discuss how you can protect your own smartphone from malicious attacks. There are a few measures that you can take to prevent phone number tracking:
- Keep your phone regularly updated
- Never share passwords with third parties
- Enable two-factor authentication
- Download phone apps from reliable sources
- Run mobile antivirus applications
- Limit app tracking permissions
- Check for unknown apps installed on your phone
No single precaution guarantees total data protection. However, it’s important to apply at least several methods to increase your phone security. Be especially wary of a sudden battery drainage or unusual smartphone activity. These are the common signals that someone is trying to track a phone number using illegal methods.