Alcatel isn't monitoring the movements of cellphone users, despite the secret trace menu each Alcatel phone carries.
Alcatel says the trace menu is used by its after-sales department to evaluate the condition of the phone when they need to repair the unit. "If you trace the phone, it will tell you on which cell you are, whether it is GSM 900 or 1800 and so on,” says Alcatel spokeswoman Jane Austin.
The menu can be accessed by typing six zeros followed by the asterisk key. The location information cannot be remotely accessed by Alcatel, Austin says. Other cellphone manufacturers apparently use similar systems.