Ping Data ‘Required’

Should we pass laws requiring phone companies to pass on location co-ordinates of cell phones to emergency response teams?

If one of four bills floating in the House is passed mobile phone companies will have to immediately turn over the device’s location data in the case of emergency or a missing person report, according to Wired. It says that current laws "allow" rather than "require" such data – known colloquially as ping data – to be passed onto the response teams without a court warrant. There are pros and cons to such Big Brother style surveillance, it says: "The latest measures, which are basically the same to a varying degree, are in response to the Kelsey Smith murder in 2007. The 18-year-old girl of Kansas was kidnapped in 2007 and her body was found four days later in a nearby wooded area. She was discovered 45 minutes after Verizon released ping data from her cell phone, after days of haggling between Verizon and the authorities over whether the company must provide the information."

Related Articles

How schizophrenia is linked to common personality type

Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.

(shutterstock)
Mind & Brain
  • A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
  • The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
  • This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
Keep reading Show less

Human skeletal stem cells isolated in breakthrough discovery

It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.

Image: Nissim Benvenisty
Surprising Science
  • Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
  • These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
  • The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Keep reading Show less

How exercise helps your gut bacteria

Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.

National Institutes of Health
Surprising Science
  • Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
  • Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
  • Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
Keep reading Show less