Tipsheets & Charts

Quick safety and confidentiality tips, checklists and charts highlight considerations about technology use by agencies and collaborations serving victims.

Cell Phone: Location Tracking & Sharing

There are many ways that a cell or mobile phone's location can be tracked or shared.  This tipsheet describes many location-based services used on cell phones and explains different ways that a cell phone's location can be trackedincluding via Global Positioning System (GPS) devices, cell tower triangulation, and local wireless Internet connections (Wi-Fi hot spots). It describes the risks and benefits of location-based applications and services that are being used on cell phones. It addresses social location sharing via social networing sites, geotags that disclose where a photo was taken, and other files that phones keep that might be accessed by perpetrators to find out a victim's realtime or past locations.  It describes many ways that cell phone location tracking is relevant to agencies and partnerships that provide services to victims of crime, and lists many points to consider when safety planning with victims or addressing agency and staff use.

This piece was created by the NNEDV Safety Net Project to assist agencies, partnerships and U.S. DOJ Office of Violence Against Women grantees with identifying and addressing victim safety concerns that can arise from using technology. This technology safety tip sheet is meant to help with issue spotting. It is understood that a more in-depth look at an agency or partnership’s technology plans and implementation may be necessary to fully ensure you are most effectively addressing victim safety concerns.