WiFi Location Tracking

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Computer Science

Document 1

Mapping access points within a building using floor plans can be used to pinpoint device locations to individual rooms based on signal strength to designated access points. The location tracker requires administrative rights on a machine, so tracking should only occur on approved devices. Introduction In the modern world, mobile phones have become ubiquitous. Due to this, a collection of large-scale and comprehensive data about the mobility of human beings has also become easier. It has become easy to capture high-resolution mobility for people as well as the entire social systems (Sapiezynski et al, 2015). Mobility data provides sensitive highlights about individuals such as their home and work areas, the places they visit, and their personality traits. However, location data is regarded as the most sensitive personal information that can be obtained from or by means of cell phones.

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By mapping the WiFi data, the subtle elements of location tracking via WiFi are quantified. It is established that; geo-positioning via WiFi APs could enhance efficiency in various contexts of data collection such as research studies. The findings are also of great importance when it comes to privacy, showing that WiFi data should be regarded as location data for especially practical purposes. This is so because it provides a new solution for the collection of location data that is cost effective. Most researchers posit that since WiFi is widely developed in universities, colleges, hospitals, airports, hotels, railway stations, and in most large buildings, it would make sense to make use of the WiFi technology in supporting positioning solutions and location identification (Gosai & Raval, 2014).

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This technology of mobility tracking could be used in areas such as surveillance, employee monitoring, and criminal investigations (Conrad, 2014). In addition, the gathering of the mobility patterns of all social systems could help in modeling disease spread, traffic forecasting, and offers knowledge of human stability, regularity, and predictability. From the above, it is clear that making use of WiFi routers for high-resolution positioning is an opportunity that should be explored extensively. After visiting a location in the first week of the experiment, about 40% of the users returned to these locations 10% of the time. This shows that people prefer visiting areas that are familiar with them or their relations. On the other hand, GPS drains a lot of battery charge and therefore it provides infrequent updates on the locations of individuals.

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However, WiFi allows the leaking of personal information and it facilitates the uploading of personal information from social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram among others. This information is therefore used to match with the WiFi records of the user and it enables the tracking of their mobility. Triangulation is the process where the concerned party traces and measures the WiFi network to determine the relative position of the user. Triangulation needs three access points to ensure that there is an optimal chance for locating the user. Lastly, the tracker should map the strength of the signal of the router so that whenever the user of the device is present, the observer can compare the strength of the signal and the one on the map to ascertain that the user is present in the location (Solanki & Hu, 2005).

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Combining WiFi and GPS also offers improved chances of locating the user. GPS follows some logical steps. Continued use of weak WiFi access points could lead to deteriorated accuracy of the positioning. In sparsely populated areas, the weakly sensed access points could lack accuracy or even fail to locate the user (Jekabsons et al. However, by utilizing some of the weakly sensed access points and APs that have a frequency band of more than 5 GHz could increase the accuracy of positioning. Jekabsons et al. (2011) mention an experiment that proved that positioning error of the WiFi tracking using several access points is just shy of 7 meters (Jekabsons et al. Conclusion It is evident that WiFi location tracking is the new frontier in technology.

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