|IT'S the kind of thing that only happens in films... The hero, desperately searching for a terrorist or kidnap victim, taps their name into a computer.
A map comes up on the screen, pinpointing the precise location of their target. The good guys move in, the hunt is over.
Great for movie spooks, but only a scriptwriter's dream? In fact, the technology has arrived that allows anyone to track someone down without them having a clue they are under surveillance.
It has crept in almost unnoticed - and at the centre of this new Big Brother technology-for-all is nothing more sophisticated than our own mobile phones.
A clutch of brand new and perfectly legal internet-based services have just been launched that cost as little as 30p to use, and take less than five seconds to zero in to within 50 metres of where a person is.
A simple text message or phone call to an operator from a suspicious spouse or boss can send one of the new DIY spying services off to track a person down. Another call or a visit to a special website will then tell you where they are.