Cell phone companies generally help police get the location of a missing person if there is some reasonable suspicion of danger.

Is there any cell phone company (in any country) which values privacy high enough that a person buying a new cell phone could somehow prevent this? I assume the person would need to sign a form to grant this "dangerous privacy", and that this would not apply if the person were suspected of some crime.

To make this more clearly a legal question, as @BlueDogRanch suggested, can a cell phone company "legally prevent authorities from using their GPS and cell tower technology to track and locate phone users" in this case of suspected danger in any country?

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on security.stackexchange.com – BlueDogRanch Jul 6 '19 at 16:46
  • But, it's not a technical question. It's a societal/legal question. – bobuhito Jul 6 '19 at 16:52
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    You're asking for technical information about which phone to buy from which company. A societal question belongs in SE Politics. A question about the law would be one where you ask if a phone company can legally prevent authorities from using their GPS and cell tower technology to track and locate phone users, and how that enters into a valid TOS for both the phone company and the user. – BlueDogRanch Jul 6 '19 at 16:59
  • Seems unlikely that a country or legitimate cell phone provider would limit themselves like this. Even in the EU, the GDPR would allow the cell phone provider to do anything that is necessary to protect the “vital interests” of a person – no matter what normal policies would be. And police usually have significant latidude when reacting to imminent danger. – amon Jul 6 '19 at 17:24


Almost every country in the world has laws mandating that phone companies track and store metadata (including geolocation info) and make this available to law enforcement and security services. Depending on the country this may or may not require a warrant.

Any contract that purports to break the law is void.

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  • Can you site a reference for the USA law (or California law since this is probably set by the state) to store metadata? I'd like to see details like how long they need to store the cell ping data. It doesn't seem to me that the government should force storage, but it seems reasonable that they could get a warrant for anything already available. – bobuhito Jul 7 '19 at 5:59
  • Of course the government can force storage- they’re the government, they make the law. – Dale M Jul 23 '19 at 6:45

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