Phone location data

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technoman28

Well-known Member
Hi folks, a bit of advice needed please.
I currently pay for 3 phone contracts with Tesco mobile, all family. I need to find out location data for one of them on a specific date and time, (mobile data was used rather than call or text). I did ring Tesco mobile but they didn't seem able to provide it. This is very important to me, (if a moderator needs to know the reason, they can PM me, but it isn't something I wish to divulge on a public forum at the moment).
I downloaded the data usage spreadsheet from my account, but as far as I can see, this does not provide what I need, there is a column that says "identifier" or something like that, but I don't know what it is. Any help on this would mean a hell of a lot to me.
 

sagaris99

Well-known Member
Hi folks, a bit of advice needed please.
I currently pay for 3 phone contracts with Tesco mobile, all family. I need to find out location data for one of them on a specific date and time, (mobile data was used rather than call or text). I did ring Tesco mobile but they didn't seem able to provide it. This is very important to me, (if a moderator needs to know the reason, they can PM me, but it isn't something I wish to divulge on a public forum at the moment).
I downloaded the data usage spreadsheet from my account, but as far as I can see, this does not provide what I need, there is a column that says "identifier" or something like that, but I don't know what it is. Any help on this would mean a hell of a lot to me.
If there's google maps installed, you might be able to look at the timeline history through the maps app if it's been enabled.

It would give you a rough window of 'between 1449 and 1532 the device was here, then driving from here to here from 1532 until 1711'.

Can't remember if it was an 'opt-in' or 'opt-out'. You'd have to have the phone in hand, or access to the Google account on a desktop.
 

technoman28

Well-known Member
If there's google maps installed, you might be able to look at the timeline history through the maps app if it's been enabled.

It would give you a rough window of 'between 1449 and 1532 the device was here, then driving from here to here from 1532 until 1711'.

Can't remember if it was an 'opt-in' or 'opt-out'. You'd have to have the phone in hand, or access to the Google account on a desktop.
The problem is I don't have the phone and that account has not had any activity since that last usage, (which was the beginning of November). It all sounds very dodgy I know, but there is a very valid reason for needing the location.
 

deans6571

Distinguished Member
The problem is I don't have the phone and that account has not had any activity since that last usage, (which was the beginning of November). It all sounds very dodgy I know, but there is a very valid reason for needing the location.

I'm sorry but you can't expect to be able to 'have' someone's data (location or otherwise) when you don't even have the phone yourself??!?
o_O

That's like you asking for my data when you don't have my phone.....

Things don't work like that I'm afraid....
 

thekilljoy

Well-known Member
I'm sorry but you can't expect to be able to 'have' someone's data (location or otherwise) when you don't even have the phone yourself??!?
o_O

That's like you asking for my data when you don't have my phone.....

Things don't work like that I'm afraid....
Not quite like asking for your data as he is the bill payer.
 

technoman28

Well-known Member
I'm sorry but you can't expect to be able to 'have' someone's data (location or otherwise) when you don't even have the phone yourself??!?
o_O

That's like you asking for my data when you don't have my phone.....

Things don't work like that I'm afraid....
As thekilljoy has pointed out, and as stated in the original post, I am the bill payer for the phone. Without going into specifics, the phone belongs to someone who is missing and we need to know where the last data was used as this may give us a clue as to where the person is/was/going.
 

wongataa

Well-known Member
If the phone user is missing and you want the location data to try and find them would it not be best to have the police involved? They would more likely be able to get such information out of who may hold it.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
Not quite like asking for your data as he is the bill payer.
There is a difference between the bill payer who owns the SIM and the handset which Andoid / iOS will be tied to.

I'm sure its a very stressful time. OP, do you have access to the OS account the phone uses, you don't need the handset. You can check location history via any web browser if location services were switched on.

Also if it a missing person and has been reported to the police I believe the police can check with the phone company which mast the phone was connected to.
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
If the police were involved they would be able to check CCTV footage from that last location & follow them & if taking transport, see where they went.
 

technoman28

Well-known Member
If the phone user is missing and you want the location data to try and find them would it not be best to have the police involved? They would more likely be able to get such information out of who may hold it.
Police are involved, but they will not access the data unless the risk factor is raised.
I'm sure its a very stressful time. OP, do you have access to the OS account the phone uses, you don't need the handset. You can check location history via any web browser if location services were switched on.
We do not have access to the Google account, and don't think that the locate function was turned on.
 

Cameron583

Well-known Member
Try logging into the Google account for the individual, and check: Sign in - Google Accounts

Edit: just seen above you don’t have access to the Google account.


Which device do they own, specifically?
 

oneman

Well-known Member
Police are involved, but they will not access the data unless the risk factor is raised.

We do not have access to the Google account, and don't think that the locate function was turned on.
sorry, if location wasn't switched on then SIM will be only way to track it.

Tesco or O2 will have a record of which cell tower the phone was connected to and its not actually hard for them to look it up. I would try calling again and escalate it. Same with Police, if it is life threatening then push for them to escalate it.
 

technoman28

Well-known Member
Tesco or O2 will have a record of which cell tower the phone was connected to and its not actually hard for them to look it up. I would try calling again and escalate it. Same with Police, if it is life threatening then push for them to escalate it.
That was my original thought, but Tesco seemed to think that it wasn't something they could do.
Police will only do more, (in fact can only do more), if the risk factor increases.
As for devices, a Huawei but probably another unknown as well.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
That was my original thought, but Tesco seemed to think that it wasn't something they could do.
Police will only do more, (in fact can only do more), if the risk factor increases.
As for devices, a Huawei but probably another unknown as well.
I would pressure Tesco and also check with O2. One of them has the data which I think is a legal requirement for the phone companies.
 

wongataa

Well-known Member
The phone company absoluetly does have access to which cell tower a phone is connected to and when. The issue here is more would they give that data to someone like the OP. They would give it to the police if they requested it.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
The phone company absoluetly does have access to which cell tower a phone is connected to and when. The issue here is more would they give that data to someone like the OP. They would give it to the police if they requested it.
I had a quick look and its a tricky one.

Just because OP owns the SIM doesn't mean that they have access to its location. Its similar to a business trying to use the phone company to track its employees without their consent.
 

Laureline

Distinguished Member
As thekilljoy has pointed out, and as stated in the original post, I am the bill payer for the phone. Without going into specifics, the phone belongs to someone who is missing and we need to know where the last data was used as this may give us a clue as to where the person is/was/going.

I think as there's a privacy aspect to it only the Police will be able to request that information.

Imagine if you were an abusive Husband wanting to know which refuge his wife was hiding in. A phone company is not going to release that info to anyone but the authorities
 
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Autopilot

Distinguished Member
Hard to really help that much without knowing a lot more details, but wow there is a whole can of worms here. Firstly the network provider will have a history of the network towers the device connected to, and some ‘triangulation’ can be done, but more often than not you can’t pin down a really exact location. Could be a number of square miles. There is other stuff that can be done with things like connections to WiFi access points, and apps that use GPS locations, but your not going to be able to obtain that, as it would involve multiple companies and they will mostly only respond to official requests from law enforcement (using RIPA powers). But a private investigator might be able to help you.

Also just because you are the bill payer and/or owner of the phone does not automatically and necessarily give you the right to such data. And that data may technically not be ‘yours’. People have a reasonable expectation of privacy if they have been given that phone. So could even potentially commit offences, such as stalking (I’m not suggesting for a second you are, just that this kind of thing is fraught with issues, and you need proper advice from a professional who knows they full circumstances).

I’ve encountered this kind of thing before, with parents worried about what their child is up to. Take the advice in this thread and speak to the police if it’s serious, but it sounds like you already have.
 
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crepello

Active Member
Shooting a bit blind here but, as has been said above, the phone companies have the data but, unless the police ask for it, they won't hand it over. And if the police aren't worried enough to ask for it, then that's that. It's probably time to accept this is a dead end and move on from this idea.

Are there any other devices or computers around the house, where the person in question may have logged onto their Google account or similar ? You may be able to access their Google maps timelines from those ? Similarly, things like new logins on Netflix accounts or something like that may give some clues ?
 

Thug

Moderator
PM me and I will try and help.
 

crepello

Active Member
Just to expand a bit on what I mentioned earlier...

I have a Netflix account, which the rest of the family also use, including my children at University. If I go into my account settings, there is an option to look at recent device streaming activity. If I look in there, I can see who has logged in on what device, and where. It's not particularly specific, but will say stuff like:

  • Netflix Linux Firefox Other​

    Newham (GB) -
    Last Used: 09/01/2022, 19:09:57 GMT
  • Vestel ODM 5.0 MStar 4K TV DV Smart TV​

    North Yorkshire (GB) -
    Last Used: 08/01/2022, 11:27:37 GMT
    North Yorkshire (GB) -
    Last Used: 05/01/2022, 12:10:19 GMT
    North Yorkshire (GB) -
    Last Used: 02/12/2021, 19:55:00 GMT

 

Laureline

Distinguished Member
Just to expand a bit on what I mentioned earlier...

I have a Netflix account, which the rest of the family also use, including my children at University. If I go into my account settings, there is an option to look at recent device streaming activity. If I look in there, I can see who has logged in on what device, and where. It's not particularly specific, but will say stuff like:

  • Netflix Linux Firefox Other​

    Newham (GB) -
    Last Used: 09/01/2022, 19:09:57 GMT
  • Vestel ODM 5.0 MStar 4K TV DV Smart TV​

    North Yorkshire (GB) -
    Last Used: 08/01/2022, 11:27:37 GMT
    North Yorkshire (GB) -
    Last Used: 05/01/2022, 12:10:19 GMT
    North Yorkshire (GB) -
    Last Used: 02/12/2021, 19:55:00 GMT

Though my Netflix claims I'm in Berlin even though I'm in Frankfurt. I just assume that's where I leave my Cable Co's Network.

My Brother (who shares my Netflix Account) seems to wander all over France
 

technoman28

Well-known Member
Thanks for all the replies on here, most of them are ones I know and things I have already been told. The reason I was specifically asking about the location data was because the Police officer dealing with this asked me to contact Tesco as I may have more luck than they had.
There is one thing for certain, this is not as easy as that manhunt programme makes it out to be. There is a member on here who is giving me advice etc via pm.
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
I would’ve thought it’d probably be O2 that has the info as it’s their Network. Tesco just piggybacks on O2 so doubt O2 gives them access to their backend. Tesco would just deal with the customer-facing part of the service.
 
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