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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cell Phone Tracking Proved Useful

Cell phone tracking have a big yes tick for one mother whose daughter was two hours late coming back from Miami. For a long time there has been back and forth between the positives and negatives of tracking cell phones with safety concerns pushing for it and worries about it being invasive to privacy holding it back. For one mother it turned out to be a huge positive after she worried about whereabouts of her daughter who was over two hours late coming back from Miami late on a mid-July night. The girl’s mother recalled that less than a week beforehand her daughter had signed up to a service at, which claimed to be able to quickly track down the location of the cell phone. After a few questions, the site’s owner Frank Rabbito said he had tracked the cell phone’s position to Alligator Alley. She was all okay and it turned out that she had just run out of gas. “There was no lights; it was dark and she was in a dead cell zone” said Rabbito. The girl was just in one of those unlucky flukes where everything that could go wrong did, but she was fine and with the help of LocateUrCell was tracked down, which meant no more worry for her mother.

The website ( was launched in mid-July by Frank Rabbito and he said that the goal of it was not to make money, which he made enough of from his last career, but to help find people when they are lost and vulnerable. The idea for the site originated for Rabbito when he was talking one night with his wife about public notifications for missing seniors. Rabbito instantly thought “there’s got to be a way to find these people” and then followed the discovery that 98 percent of people had a cell phone and it might be possible to combine that in some way with tracking them.

He started LocateUrCell with the help of a programmer, Dan Grable and they quickly set about coming over the obstacles like negotiating with the networks to gain access to them to gain the information required to track the phones. Most use GPS to track the devices to within a few feet, but with Verizon they use triangulation technology which is a little less precise. People can sign up online and then track their phones on the website. The best thing about the project is that it is aimed at not purely pushing a profit – 40% of the proceeds go to charities meaning not only is it helping find lost and vulnerable people but it also helps the wider community. It has already had success in finding not only people, but used as a tool for finding misplaced cell phones as Corena Salazar found when she lost her phone at her grocery store!

The future looks good for LocateUrCell with the initial aims to be to break even and then start distributing the proceeds to charities.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why didn't she just call and say she was out of gas?

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