There’s a monitor app available on the Google Play store which sends location coordinates through text message.

Although monitor apps like these can be convenient if all parties involved are fully aware and willing, they can also present a risk of being used maliciously to track unsuspecting victims.

The app is Location Tracker, and the description on its Google Play site tells all.

LoTrack1

The application will provide you with an SMS with a map which will give you the GPS coordinates of a person or the android device with the application installed. Simply send a text with The following text "Where are you" or Uripi and it will return the map coordinates of that individual.

Enjoy the app, but not some countries do not accept monitoring people and you need to verify with the laws of your country.

A summary is also given on the developer’s blog site.LoTrack2

Location tracker application that can be installed on a user’s Android device. You can then send an SMS message containing a specific code to the user’s device, and it will automatically return the location of the device through a return SMS message. This type of location tracker application is  used to keep track of your child , elderly relative  or animal.

Simply text “Where are you?” and a link to Google Maps shows device’s location.  The app makes no attempt to be stealthy about its presence though.

To start, the app creates a shortcut when installed.

Screenshot_LoTrack

When you text “Where are you?”, not only does the SMS message that says “Where are you?” come through, but it also displays the Google Map link under the recipient’s SMS messages.

Screenshot_LoTrack2

This link will also be seen on the device that sent the SMS message as promised.

Screenshot_LoTrack3

Tracking where someone is located by simply sending a text message to their device is a powerful tool. Yes, this app can be quite useful when used appropriately, but it also opens up a door for predators.

For example, let’s examine the statement made in the summary on the developers blog site, “Keep track of your child”. Keep track of ‘your’ child, or a child you are stalking that doesn’t know the capabilities of the app?

A very real example of this occurred when a domestic abuser used a spying app with similar location capabilities to track down their victim who is under protective care.

This can occur to anyone unaware the app is installed on their device. The shortcut created on install can be easily removed to make it harder to locate the app on the device.

If you don’t know if it is installed, you may find it odd that a link to Google Maps is popping up with your location, but some users may not make the correlation that it’s due to an installed app.

This ability to be used maliciously is why, as stated in the app’s description, it is illegal in some countries.

Nathan Collier