People tracking refers to the ability to follow someone, either physically or virtually, to know where they go or where they are at a set time; this can provide further information such as what activities they undertake or who they are with.
People tracking can be required for a broad range of reasons and purposes; perhaps you are the parent of a teenager of carer of a vulnerable person and want to keep tabs on where they are and what they do to ensure that they are safe; maybe you suspect your partner of lying to you about what they are getting up to or you think they may be cheating; you might have an ex-partner or even a person you are interested in getting together with and you want to be able to “accidentally bump into them” so you have an opportunity of rekindling a lost relationship or starting a new one; there may be someone you have unresolved issues with such as they may have caused you harm in some way, have something that belongs to you or owe you money.
Whatever the reason that you wish to track someone, it’s important that you first consider the legitimacy of your plan and that you respect the rights of that person to a private personal and family life.
No matter how desperately you want to bump into that ex, if they have chosen to live their life away from you then its not fair to stalk them or try to force your way back into their heart and it won’t help things if they become aware of your intentions or tracking of them.
If you wish to find someone to exact retribution or recoup a loss by harmful means you would be committing a criminal offence if you get to the point where you can follow through on this and this could result in severe consequences for both the person you wish to track and yourself.
Harassment is both a criminal offence and civil action as stated in the Protection from Harassment Act 1997; if someone deems you guilty of this or feel intimidated or threatened by your behaviour, they could report you to the police, and you can be prosecuted in the criminal courts of they can take action against you through the civil courts.
The courts will decide whether your actions were reasonable or not, and if they find you to have been unreasonable in your behaviour, they can place an injunction against you preventing future contact with or harassment of the person and if you breach this you could end up going to prison. Behaviour that is considered harassment can include unwanted phone calls, text messages or visits, verbal abuse and stalking. It is wise to consider your actions and the purposes behind them, whether you have genuine justification to do this and the possible consequences before you start trying to track someone.
If you have decided that tracking someone is the right and justifiable thing to do, social media sites are a good place to start; if you have access to the person’s account or if they have low privacy settings (if you are a parent it’s important to ensure that your child or teenager has full privacy settings on any social media accounts to keep them safe) you can view their posts and the information they share on these; photos and comments can provide clues and indicators of daily routines, the places they like to visit, where they have gone on holiday and in general where they choose to hang out.
This can be a helpful start to trying to track someone as there are lots of places in people’s daily life which they attend repeatedly such as their workplace, their gym, perhaps a bar or café they particularly favour or a place of worship. Whilst this method won’t necessarily provide you with definite up to date information of where that person is right now, it can help you understand their routines and the potential places they may be at a certain time.
Some social media sites such as Snapchat have a facility to allow people to share their location in real time; Snap Map was brought out by Snapchat in 2017. If the person you are tracking has opted to share their location with you (or forgotten that they previously chose to do so) you can use the Snap Map to see where they go and where they are.
You can do this in several different ways; you can click on hotspots on the heat map and this will show you where snaps have been taken and with what frequency; areas from which snaps are regularly shared will show up in red so this can indicate a home address or work place.
Less used areas will show in blue. Stories that are made public by the user can also show places they have visited or indicate evets they have attended. You can also see the real time location of the person on snap map if you have been granted access; draw down the snap map when you are on the home screen and you will see your own location.
If you widen the range of the map view you will start to see the location of people around you that you receive sharing from; look for the bitmoji or figure used by the person you wish to track and this will give you their real time location, or you can type in their name to the search bar to look for them specifically.
If you don’t have access to someone’s snapchat account and/or they have not opted to share their location with you, you will be unable to get this information from the site and unable to track someone in this method.
There are numerous websites online that claim to be able to track someone through their mobile phone or social media account such as snapchat; the idea is that you pay them a fee and are then able to type in the mobile phone number to the site to get this information or be provided with an app you can download to enable you to track the person with the use of their phone number of social media account.
The majority of these claims are untrue and you will end up wasting your money and won’t be any further on in your attempt to track the person. In the unlikely event that the company do provide what they are claiming to be able to, this could be illegal, and you need to think about the potential consequences of engaging in this. You also need to consider the impact on your own mental and emotional wellbeing of being able to track someone; this can become unhealthy and cause obsession to develop and an absolute preoccupation with knowing exactly where that person is at every point of the day.
This can really interfere with your own life and the quality of this, what you are able to achieve and your capacity to move on. It’s nice to have an idea of what someone you love or care about is up to or to know that someone is safe but its best to try and do this in an open and upfront way through simply communicating with them.
If someone is avoiding your contact, its likely they don’t want you in their life and there comes a time when you just have to respect and accept this. Sometimes not knowing is the better option.