Cell Phone Triangulation Plays Key Role in Property Insurance Dispute

    Cell Phone ExpertThis case involves an insurance claim, which was denied, subsequent to an act of vandalism on the insured property. The owner of the house claimed that he was not within the vicinity of the property when it was vandalized. The insurance company contended that he was, in fact, present on the property before, during and after the incident based on a report of his whereabouts secured through cell phone tower triangulation. It was alleged by the plaintiff that the cell phone triangulation obtained by the insurance company was faulty. An expert in cell phone records was sought to determine the accuracy of this report.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. What errors do you typically see in determining the location of an individual based on telephone triangulation?

    Expert Witness Response E-149483

    I worked with the police department for 20 years, the last 5-6 of which I worked specifically on using cell phone records to find kidnappers. My city of residence has one of the highest rates of kidnapping in the country so I have worked on many of these cases. I have taught several courses in cell phone mapping and reading records for each cellular provider as each provider provides a different set of records and you must know their “language” to truly understand the records. I have testified in a criminal trial regarding the same type of information and have previously testified numerous times regarding this issue. This is a fairly routine request. There are many people who attempt to triangulate cell phone records who have not received training in reading and understanding the records. If the records have already been obtained from the cellular carrier, it will be fairly simple to review the records and/or the existing report and determine if the mapping was properly done.


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