Is our privacy protected by the telcos?
Last night, my brother told me that this guy he barely knew had a grudge against him which started when they were arguing via SMS. Nothing big really until he showed me a text message with his number and our location (name of our baranggay). It’s like the guy’s saying “I know where you live so watch out“.
He tells me this guy has a friend working at a telco and that’s how he got my brother’s location. I told him most of our telcos have that feature that can track you down by just triangulating your cellphone’s signal. I think they had this service for several years now.
What bothered me later on is that this becomes a privacy issue. My brother’s lucky that he’s using a prepaid SIM so no personal information is involved but what if it were a postpaid account? Obviously personal data might also be exposed. That also means they can snoop over phone conversations or dig up all SMS conversations.
My question is — if GPS tracking via cell tower triangulation can just be accessed and used by somebody inside the telco, what protection against invasion of privacy do we have? Are these personal information readily available and accessible to the people working there (which they can just easily share to friends and relatives)?
I believe telcos should do something to protect the personal information we entrusted them especially from unscrupulous employees that handles the day to day operations of their network. This might just be an isolated case but it surely demonstrated how such private data can be easily accessed and exploited.