Infrastructure // PC & Servers
01:54 PM
Mobile Threats & How to Keep Them at Bay
Jun 01, 2016
With savvy cybercriminals using vulnerabilities in apps, networks, and operating systems to gain c ...Read More>>

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
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
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
2016 InformationWeek Elite 100
Our 28th annual ranking of the leading US users of business technology.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.