Computerphile explains how phone companies can track you position

Cell phones need cell towers to receive and then resend the phone signal. such a cell tower can handle maybe even 10 000 callers or maybe more. In order for the phone company to send you the radio signal accordingly it has to know near what cell tower are you right now.

Also, phone companies need to know the speed your going at in order to send you the correct phone signal. Since some cell towers use sectorised antennas to handle big loads of phone calls, the phone company can know the approximate area you’re in and the velocity of your phone. Put your relative position on a map and the police might be able to track you pretty well. Sneaky!

The phone companies gather the position data and sometimes sell statistics to big shopping malls to let them know what area a customer comes from. Also, phone companies can monitor the traffic speeds on highways in this way too. Interesting.

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