Are Burner phones traceable?

Are Burner phones traceable?
Are Burner phones traceable?-1

As part of the publication of a New York Times piece investigating the cell phone tracking industry, the outlet collected 50 billion location pings from the phones of more than 12 million Americans. What’s even more disturbing is that the information they collected revealed each smartphone’s exact location while it was in use. Still think you’re protecting your privacy adequately? Think again.

While we’ve designed Burner for a variety of uses, including functions and features that help small business owners optimize their working hours, help freelancers maintain some sort of work-life balance, and help online daters and sellers feel safe, one of our main goals is to give you a tool that allows you to stay safe online and in the real world.

Are our Burner phones traceable? Yes and no. And here’s how to ensure you’re using our app correctly to maximize your privacy protection.

Are Burner phones traceable?

Way back when Burner phones were real, prepaid throwaway phones, the idea was that you physically threw the phone away after a short period of usage. That made them pretty untraceable. But what about modern-day Burner phones? You don’t throw away your entire shiny, new iPhone with the Burner app on it just because someone connected you to your second phone number.

Here are a few facts about Burner phones (at least if you’re using the Burner app):

  • Burner never shows your real number when you place a call or text someone.
  • When you receive a call, Burner forwards calls from your burner numbers to your phone to stay anonymous. Whenever you place a call, it’ll show up on someone else’s phone bill as a call from your Burner number, nothing else.
  • When you place a call, it shows up on your phone bill as being placed to your Burner number (this means that nobody can track who you’re calling, just that you made a call).

In short, when you’re using the Burner app, your phone isn’t traceable back to your primary number. If someone is looking to see who you called on December 10th, 2018, and you used the Burner app, they won’t be able to identify who you called because the number on the phone log will be your Burner number.

This doesn’t, however, mean that someone can’t track your phone itself.

Are Burner phones traceable?-2

What to know about cell phone tracking

If you’re interested in whether or not a Burner phone is traceable by merely using it, then we’d suggest reading through the New York Times piece and diving into their Privacy Project. It’s important here to understand the ins and outs, or at least the basics, of cell phone tracking.

Localization is a tool used by certain groups and organizations to track movement. In a sense, it allows these organizations to collect helpful data (like the data that showed how people were moving about during the first lockdown in the spring of 2020). It works by using radio signals between local cell towers or using the GPS function that nearly every smartphone features nowadays.

If you don’t want your actual phone itself being tracked, simply turn it off or, if you can’t turn it off, turn off GPS and location settings. The last tracking location will be tied to wherever your phone was just before you turned it off (or shortly before, depending on if it had pinged to a local cell tower or not).

Are Burner phones traceable?-3

So, my cell phone is traceable but not my Burner phone?

In a sense, yes, that’s correct. If you’re worried about someone tracking your movements, it’s best to look at the features of your phone itself. If you’re concerned about someone monitoring your calls and messages, you can rest assured that your information is safe with us.

What happens if someone finds out you’re using a temporary or Burner phone number? You just burn the number. At the bottom of the main Burner screen, you’ll see a flame icon. Click on that and then hold down on the “Delete” button until a message appears. You’ll have one last chance to change your mind before permanently deleting all data associated with that Burner number.

As the message says, once you burn that number, everything will be completely wiped. Everything. There will be no tracing of any previous messages you’ve sent or calls you’ve made.

Are Burner phones traceable?-4

Go incognito with a free Burner number

Ready to be untraceable? Burner is great for those who want a little added privacy, are looking to organize their work contacts away from their personal contacts, and for those who simply don’t feel comfortable giving out their phone number to people they don’t really know.

We’re offering a free 7-day trial of a Burner phone number. Choose your number and then play around with the functions and features to see just how safe it is.

Ready to start calling & texting with a shiny new number?

Get Burner

Scan to download Burner