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Does Find My iPhone work if a FamilyBase data cap is in effect?

u2heads
Miembro

Has anyone seen Find My iPhone work when a data cap is imposed on a number via FamilyBase usage controls (other than working via wifi)?

Two of my kids used up a lot of data early in this billing cycle when they were out of town and using their new iPhones.  Data caps from the FamilyBase (a part of "Verizon Family Safeguards & Controls") kicked in.  But now, if the kids are away from fully-connected wifi, the Find My iPhone app does not appear to work, because the phone is no longer authorized to transmit or receive data over the cell connection.

The Verizon rep I spoke with when I signed up for this service said Find My iPhone would still work over the cell network even when my kids hit their data cap.  Now another rep says no, it won't, because no data can pass from the phone to the network (or vice versa) once the cap has been hit. (If my kid calls 911, then the data cap is supposedly lifted.  But I'm not talking about that contingency here, nor am I talking about Find My iPhone via wifi.)

HOWEVER, the "Current Data Log" for my kids' phones on the "My Usage" page shows that little bits of data are nonetheless still being transmitted periodically either from or to my kids' phones (little amounts, like 14.5 KB, then 26.8 KB - even as high as 45.3 KB).  The rep I just spoke with explained that this is because "administrative" packets of data need to periodically be transmitted to and from the phone, but that data is not charged to me. (Query: what type of data?  Location data for advertisers, perhaps?  Or the government?  Might Edward Snowden have that answer?...)

So, some questions:

(1) Is anyone aware of Find My iPhone working over the cell network even after a data cap from FamilyBase usage controls has been hit?

(2) If Find My iPhone does not work once a cap has been hit, does anyone agree with me that it SHOULD work, as a safety feature??

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Re: Does Find My iPhone NOT work over cell network if FamilyBase data cap in effect?

Weth
Líder Sénior

It makes sense - after the cap, all data is blocked so the phone cannot transmit its current location.

If Verizon did make an exception to this, people would likely then complain they went over on the data and why didn't FamilyBase prevent that.

I do not use FamilyBase, but is it hard to temporarily turn off the block to get a location fix when you needed, then turn it back on?

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Re: Does Find My iPhone NOT work over cell network if FamilyBase data cap in effect?

Weth
Líder Sénior

It makes sense - after the cap, all data is blocked so the phone cannot transmit its current location.

If Verizon did make an exception to this, people would likely then complain they went over on the data and why didn't FamilyBase prevent that.

I do not use FamilyBase, but is it hard to temporarily turn off the block to get a location fix when you needed, then turn it back on?

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Re: Does Find My iPhone NOT work over cell network if FamilyBase data cap in effect?

u2heads
Miembro

But how much data could Find My iPhone possibly use?  It's a location ping.  In fact, I strongly suspect all those "administrative" data usages attributed to my kids' phones (that is, the ones AFTER they hit the cap) were location pings for other services, such as advertiser location services.

If Verizon can keep sending administrative pings that use data (but don't charge), they should be able to add Find My iPhone pings for no charge, as well.  I should be able to track my child as necessary even after that child has used his/her data cap.

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Re: Does Find My iPhone NOT work over cell network if FamilyBase data cap in effect?

Weth
Líder Sénior

You are correct it uses very little data. I am sure Verizon will say it is not our app (Find My iPhone) but Apple's app, and they are just blocking data. Could they do it, very likely. Will they do it, unlikely.

I can not think of any ideal solution. One alternative is to turn off cellular data for all apps on the phone except Find My Iphone and restrict data use that way. Or turn off the block for a period until you get a location fix, then turn it back on. Sorry I don't have more.

Re: Does Find My iPhone NOT work over cell network if FamilyBase data cap in effect?

pherson
Leader

Well if it's that important, either remove the restriction and get the ping, which the kid knows you are gonna do anyway because the phone emits audible beeps, or tech the kids responsibility with data. If they can't follow rules then no phone.

As a side note, calling 911 uses the cellular network for the call not data. But if data is blocked then location and GPS is blocked ...... so they won't be able to pinpoint the persons location.

Something to think about.

Re: Does Find My iPhone NOT work over cell network if FamilyBase data cap in effect?

Weth
Líder Sénior

Interesting read on wireless 911 with video

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2015/02/22/cellphone-911-lack-location-data/23570499/

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Re: Does Find My iPhone NOT work over cell network if FamilyBase data cap in effect?

rcschnoor
Líder Sénior

u2heads wrote:

But how much data could Find My iPhone possibly use?

IF you have reached you data allowance, it could use enough to mean you would incur an overage charge. I am sure THAT is why many people have signed up for Family Base, to avoid overage charges. Then you would no doubt get the complaints about people incurring overage charges even though they had set limits on data usage which Verizon simply ignored...

u2heads wrote:

If Verizon can keep sending administrative pings that use data (but don't charge), they should be able to add Find My iPhone pings for no charge, as well.  I should be able to track my child as necessary even after that child has used his/her data cap.

And why, exactly, would be the reason? IF, as you assume, the pings you are not charged are to report location to advertisers, those advertisers are paying for the data in their advertising fees to Verizon. While YOU may not be charged, there IS a charge that is being paid by some other arrangement. It is not that there is no charge, there is simply no charge to you. Who do you suggest pays the charge for the Find My iPhone pings if you don't want to incur data overages???? If data overages don't bother you, simply turn off Family Base.Smiley Happy

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Re: Does Find My iPhone NOT work over cell network if FamilyBase data cap in effect?

rcschnoor
Líder Sénior

u2heads wrote:

I should be able to track my child as necessary even after that child has used his/her data cap.

For what it is worth, a child can block any tracking of their phone simply by placing the phone in Airplane mode, too. Should Verizon also disable airplane mode on their phones, since you should be able to track your child as necessary???