How Can I Tell If My Phone Has GPS Tracking?

By Palmer Owyoung

Most smart phones made after 2007 have a built-in global-positioning system (GPS) tracking chip. This was done to allow owners to install GPS software but also so that in the event 911 is dialed emergency workers can find the caller. What this means is that your phone company also has the ability to switch on the device and track you if it so desires. In fact, some companies such as Verizon even have the default setting switched to "on." So request that the company turn it off if you want to maintain your privacy.

Check Your Carrier's Website

Go to your cellphone provider's website and look for your make and model of phone. The features of the phone should be listed on the site. You can also call your phone company to ask if your phone has GPS or not. The phone company can turn off the tracking for you if you wish.

Check the Manufacturer's Website

Alternatively, you can go to the phone manufacturer's website and look up your phone. The site should list the phone's features. Websites for major phone manufacturers are linked in the References and Resources sections.

Check Your Phone

Go to your phone's “Settings” and look for “Preferences.” If the phone has a GPS chip, then it should give you an option to “Turn Locate On or Off;“ this is the function that allows 911 personnel to know where you are at when you call.