Tracking and Tracing. What’s the difference?

Confusion

Despite the fact that We’ve always made an effort to keep product and service names and descriptions simple, it hasn’t always been possible to do away with technical terms altogether. Often there are no universally accepted or commonly used words to replace the jargon with. Tracking and tracing services and products are a prime example.

Intertel offers a number of tracking and tracing services, products and solutions. These include the tracing of phone calls, phone numbers, private number calls, SMS messages, email messages, email accounts, assets, transactions, people and groups, and the tracking of cell phones, laptops, vehicles, people, commodities and assets.

Definitions

tracking

The word tracking is derived from the word track. In this context, track can be defined as “the path, route or course along which someone or something moves”. In its simplest form, tracking can be defined as “following the tracks of someone or something”. A more complete definition would be:

  1. Determining or plotting the current or past locations of someone or something;
  2. Monitoring the movement, course, heading or telemetry of an someone or something;
  3. Following the tracks of, or pursuing, someone or something in order to intercept or capture them.

tracing

The word trace stems from the Old French Tracier which itself was derived from Latin Tractiāre (used to describe a line of footprints that indicate the origin, route and destination of a person). In the context of this article, trace means “to identify or locate someone or something”. A suitable definition of locate would be “to determine the position, situation, or whereabouts of someone or something”. Identify means “to recognize or prove the identity of someone or something”. Taken together, we have a complete definition of tracing:

  1. Recognizing or proving the identity of someone or something;
  2. Determining the position, situation or whereabouts of someone or something;
  3. Establishing the origin, path or destination of someone or something.

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