Guardian: Can Google Latitude get my stolen phone back?

Jemima of the Guardian writes:

"Not yet – but with a bit of inspired app design, it could help.

We all know how annoying it is to lose your mobile phone, especially if you never did get round to backing up those valuable contacts. But with location-based services becoming ubiquitous, isn't there a way to track down your lost or stolen handset?

That was exactly what San Francisco-based Nick Strada thought when he realised he left his Nokia E71 in the back of a cab: he'd activated Google's Latitude location service a few days earlier, so surely he could track down the culprit?

When he logged into Latitude online, he was surprised to see his phone floating around a good 3,000 miles away – in central Boston. When phoning and texting his own number failed, Strada realised the phone's keypad had probably locked, and eventually the phone's battery died, taking its location with it. Surely there's some interesting potential here to help retrieve, or at least protect, a stolen handset?"

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