Asurion Mobile Recovery - Safe?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by PaulQ, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. PaulQ
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    PaulQ New Member

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    Verizon has its own Mobile Recovery software offered through their Asurion total recovery insurance. It's like "Lookout" where it helps you find your phone, locks it remotely, etc. However, the Verizon version is free.

    Am I being paranoid when I wonder if I should give Verizon/Asurion the ability to locate my phone? I know there are 3rd party versions of this but I thought I would toss this out to see what you guys thought.

    Thanks!
  2. FunN4Lo
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    FunN4Lo Member

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    MR will help YOU find your phone should you need to. Do you really think VZW can not already find your phone wether you install MR or not?
  3. PaulQ
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    PaulQ New Member

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    Actually... I'm not sure they can. If they could, why wouldn't they execute that power anytime someone claimed a lost phone in the past (and future)? It could save them a lot of money.

    I don't really understand the whole system. I have heard you can locate a phone even when you aren't talking on it using tower triangulation but it's not very accurate. Adding the GPS... doesn't that require an app?
  4. PaulQ
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    PaulQ New Member

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    I decided to ask Verizon and here's the response I got:
    My name is Kim. I would be happy to advise you whether Verizon Wireless or Asurion will ever try to locate your phone without your authorization. No, we will not. Verizon Wireless and Asurion representatives cannot to access the MyMobileRecovery website for you or perform any of the capabilities of the application, nor do we have any locational information accessible to us to assist you with. You have full control of the program.

    So, I guess we're safe.
  5. WVOz1970
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    WVOz1970 New Member

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    While I don't know exactly how things work, so long as your phone is turned on, VZW could narrow down your location without these apps. Triangulation of your signal can get "in the ballpark" because your phone is still pinging the towers. I have read of more than one arrest being made because police were able to trace a cell phone signal. Also, if you have GPS location turned on in the background, the phone can be located even more accurately because it can broadcast your location. All newer phones broadcast GPS all the time for 911 emergencies. Most let you turn it on for other location based services.

    What the apps do is just make it easier to "wake up" the phone and get it to broadcast it's info. I use "Where's my droid" and it does just fine for what I need it to do. It allows me to wake the phone, turn on a ringer, even if I left it in silent mode, and can turn on GPS broadcasting. But I have to enter a specific code-phrase for each option. If the phone is "off", though, these programs won't do a thing. The nicer programs even have data wipe options so that I could remotely wipe all personal data from the phone.

    So generally speaking, VZW could locate the ballpark vicinity of your phone without any need for an app... but my guess is it costs a ton more in manpower than it does to just offset the insurance costs of a replacement. In terms of the apps, I know that "Where's my droid" is set up entirely on the phone, so I don't have any of my activation phrases on a website anywhere. And the phrases that you text to the phone are what trigger the app to do it's job.
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