Came across what I think may be mildly-dystopian real world example of cell phone tracking so thought I would share for discussion purposes.
This is a brief, hopefully unbiased, and simplified run down attempt of the article;
- Young girl has aneurysm
- Patient’s parents grow dissatisfied with hospital care and would like to seek treatment elsewhere
- Hospital eventually bans mother from patient visitation or cellphone contact for disruptive care behaviors
- Hospital decides patient is unable to make personal care decisions
- Hospital attempts to change guardianship of patient to the county or hospital
- Hospital prevents patient from leaving against medical advice
- Hospital declines requests from parents for patient discharge
- Parents decided to physically remove patient from hospital
- Police are contacted by hospital for “patient kidnapping” and imminent patient health concerns
- Police are unsure and moderately disagree with hospital with regards to kidnapping
- Police use cell phone tracking to find the patient’s parents while attempting to locate the patient (paragraph 51 in link )
- (Cell phone tracking was unsuccessful)
- …complicated and convoluted discussion
This occurred in MN. After a quick search, “MN requires a warrant for cellphone location information” . It’s certainly possible the police obtained a warrant and the cell phone tracking was legal. Regardless, I found it interesting because it often goes unmentioned.
The case in general is obviously very complicated and there are other questionable aspects of the article outside the scope of privacy. However, speaking generally and from a privacy perspective, perhaps it is reasonable for a family to seek care at another hospital without the worries of being tracked by the police at the behest of the first hospital.
Cell phone tracking is used by law enforcement to find a family who had “kidnapped their daughter” from a hospital after becoming dissatisfied with the hospital’s care.