How to Find a GPS Tracker in Your Car… if You Can
There have been some interesting stories about how GPS tracking systems needed to “see the sky”. And there have been plenty of idiots who have simply placed the tracker on the roof of the car. In that case finding the tracker is simple. In more sophisticated and therefore challenging locating exercises, it can take several hours for mechanics to find the device, especially when they are mounted behind the dashboard.
Under the dash seems to be the most common place to stash devices if you have access to the inside of the car. If the car is locked or the car is targeted by law enforcement, the device may be simply stuck to the bottom of the car.
Some devices are battery operated and have a short amount of time that they can transmit a signal. Others will be hard wired to the car battery with virtually unlimited transmission time.
Older devices are passive. Passive devices store data but don't transmit it. The device must be retrieved and the data read to determine where someone has been. These devices are becoming less common.
Everyone now wants real-time data. Active devices can transmit the location of a person or vehicle instantaneously. These devices can run off of battery for a few days or, if hardwired to the car’s electrical system, run perpetually tracking the vehicle wherever it goes.
There are also companies that supply detectors such as Spy-Nexus and BrickHouse Security. Interestingly BrickHouse Security sells both trackers and detectors. These GPS detectors rely on finding the signal from the transmitting device. This signal is generally a cell phone signal transmitting all the time. More sophisticated devices only transmit while the vehicle is moving making detection on a stationary vehicle impossible with a detector.
Another company, Insignia available from Best Buy, had a device called the “Little Buddy Tracker” which was a “Child Tracking Solution For Paranoid Parents”. This device has been discontinued but a replacement by Garmin is a good replacement. These devices, slipped into a kid’s back pack allows for real-time tracking of the child or at least their backpack.
And then there is cell phone tracking… but that will have to wait for our next issue.
By Scott Greene
For 30 years, Scott Greene has been helping companies meet the challenges of the swiftly evolving computer technology industry.
Directly from high school, Scott went to work for IBM. Scott studied Systems Engineering at the University of Arizona. He has since earned certifications in many products and programming languages.
The Evidence Solutions team analyzes data from Computers, Cell Phones, Black Boxes, Dispatch Systems, Medical Records. Scott then explains the digital evidence in plain English.
Scott’s extensive knowledge draws clients to him from all over the United States as well as Internationally for consulting, Forensics and expert witness services. His extensive and diverse experience allows him to be an expert in many facets of digital and electronic evidence. Scott, a sought after speaker and educator, travels throughout the country sharing his knowledge and presenting to local, regional, national and International organizations.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.