Government of India enforcing location tracking for every mobile user by mid-2014
Ravi Mandalia | On 17, Jun 2013
Government of India has directed telecom providers in India to capture location details of their subscribers as a part of call data records (CDR) starting mid- 2014, according to a Department of Telecommunications (DoT) directive obtained by Parity News.
CDRs contain information such as contact number of the person a subscriber spoke to; duration of the call; details of the mobile tower used; and other such information. The new directive means that the CDR should also contain location information of the subscriber. The directive has been issued to all unified access service licensees in India.
It is not uncommon for telecom operators to help government and investigative agencies in probing criminal and terror related cases by providing CDR information about subscribers. But, the current directive is rather unprecedented in terms of intention as well as scale.
The directive was issued back in May 2011 and the effects should be visible in mid-2014 sometime. The directive calls for such details for specified mobile numbers initially, “However, within a period of three years location details shall be part of CDR for all mobile calls.” Further the accuracy with which the Government is asking the location tracking be done is something that caught over attention – “more than 90 percent accuracy in urban.” Why would Government want such accuracy for the mobile subscribers?