Infrastructure // PC & Servers
01:54 PM
Connect Directly
Repost This

Phone Tracking Tool Leads Authorities to Wrong Home, Constantly

One man gets angry calls from people who have lost their cell phone due to a technology glitch. It turns out phone tracking tool is imperfect due to the way the GPS location is approximated and this is the trouble one man has endured.

59-year-old Wayne Dobson has the unfortunate pleasure of being the victim of a strange glitch that leads people with missing cellular phones straight to his home in North Vegas.

He's visited by angry cellphone owners who have lost their handsets. They yell at him, threaten him with calls to the authorities, and do just about anything else to prove that their phone is in his home.

But that's never the case.

Even police have been misled by the tracking tool. They've reportedly gone to his house twice on calls for domestic violence.

However, Dobson is not the culprit. This glitch seems to be a problem for Sprint customers, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

It's become such a problem for Dobson that he has to sleep near the front door of his home just to answer the door quickly. It's also made it difficult for him to get proper sleep.

He's gone to the extent of putting a sign outside his door that reads, "No lost cell phones!!" in bold, capital letters.

This has been an issue for at least two years, with the first such incident happening in 2011. Eventually, these people realize that he is not the thief, and they are on their way. This usually doesn't happen without a call to the police. The apparent problem is that cellular GPS systems are approximate. They tend to use assisted GPS. This combines the GPS systems we are used to with our navigation systems, and triangulates a signal between cellular towers that are close. Sprint's estimate just so happens to be right on his house.

The situation is more than an annoyance factor. It can even be dangerous for Dobson. Sprint says they are looking into the issue. For Dobson, a fix couldn't come soon enough.

Tip of the hat to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Server Market Splitsville
Server Market Splitsville
Just because the server market's in the doldrums doesn't mean innovation has ceased. Far from it -- server technology is enjoying the biggest renaissance since the dawn of x86 systems. But the primary driver is now service providers, not enterprises.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.