Smartphones have become an integral part of our daily life using multiple sensors to facilitate users along with multiple unknown threats. One of such fear is the ability to trace someone.

You might be wrong, if you think that it is only the GPS that would trace your location. A recent study has revealed that other sensors like gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer can also trace your phone’s location.

The GPS (Global Positioning System) is a satellite-based navigation system that is used on a smartphone with navigation apps, helping users to find shops, restaurants, banks etc. or suggesting better ads and search results depending on their location.

Likewise, the magnetometer basically works as a compass, an accelerometer tells users how fast they’re moving and a gyroscope tells the orientation of your device.

About the Research

A team of researchers from Northeastern University in Boston, US have revealed a way to track people with GPS turned off on their smartphones. The tests were conducted in Boston, Waltham, Massachusetts, and London. The study clearly indicates that other sensors in the device can help reveal a person’s location.

Although researchers have used Android smartphones in their tests but they are pretty much sure that the hack applies to iPhones as well because they have the same set of components.

The researchers used a simple app like “Flashlight” to locate where the test subject was. This simply shows that an app, which has nothing to do with tracking or location services, can be used to trace someone.

The chances of getting traced are higher if the person holding the device chooses a route with a lot of turns as compared to someone who chooses a straight path. Plus, if you take the same route every day you are easier to trace.