Call for emergency tracking chips in mobiles

Australia's emergency services are calling for all mobile phone companies to insert a chip into every handset to allow 000 callers to be traced to their exact location.

At present mobile calls can be tracked to a suburb via the local phone tower involved receiving the call although this is not always reliable as interference can cause calls to be bounced to another tower many kilometres away.

However, ‘global positioning' chips such as those used on most taxis could determine a person's location with almost pinpoint accuracy.

However, the chips could add up to $200 to $300 to the cost of the phone. In the US, the chips have become compulsory but their use is tightly regulated so that the positioning information cannot be used without customers' permission except for calls made to emergency services.

The Australian p3, 22/08/01