The authorities can track and locate your position anywhere, at any time. So, much for the misnomer call the Freedom Act.Currently, non-GPS phones have to be triangulated between local Cellular Towers, which is time consuming.
If you’re paranoid about the ability of authorities to find you using your cell phone, you might want to sit down: The FCC will require that cell phone service providers and Voice over the Internet Protocol providers ensure their products are fully GPS-capable by 2018.
Devices that are not GPS-enabled must be tracked via triangulation with local cellular towers, a time consuming process that can only give an approximate location and can dangerously delay critical assistance. No date was given for when non-GPS enabled devices must be discontinued, but given FCC estimates that by 2018, 75 percent of all mobile devices will be GPS capable, it is likely that the assumption is the sun setting of obsolete devices will occur naturally as consumers chuck outdated gadgets for shiny new ones.
In addition to increased safety for accident or crime victims, the regulation will affect all mobile phones, including pre-paid phones that don’t require users to create accounts. The Federal Communications Commission has published a new rule that mandates all cellphones support true GPS positioning by the year 2018. Many smartphones already have GPS chips inside of them today, but the vast majority of feature phones still rely on cell tower triangulation for location services.
The FCC wants all phones to support GPS positioning so that 911 emergency responders can locate people quicker and more accurately. The cell tower triangulation method works in those scenarios, and it aids the GPS systems in locking in a more accurate position in less time.