Somewhere in Bahrain, a man has a dream. He has pulled investors in, secured financing, and pitched his wares: He wants to manufacture GPS devices to track schoolchildren in Iran. The gadgets would discourage truancy and increase safety. The move is symbolic of the continued, exponentially increasing ubiquity of global positioning. GPS devices are getting smaller every day. More of them are being manufactured every day. And with the world’s current GPS satellite grid becoming a bit crowded, the impending launch of GPS III promises to make global tracking devices around the world faster, more accurate, and more convenient.
Remember how when you were younger you felt like your mother had eyes in the back of her head? Then remember when you became a parent and you wondered what you needed to do to get eyes in the back of your head? Well, GPS technology may provide that in some form as tech evolves. GPS devices on students would prevent them from getting into trouble, plain and simple. They would provide data in case of emergencies. They would prevent kidnappings or other disappearances. They would enable law enforcement to track students perpetrating crimes. And they would certainly help prevent the presence of weapons or drugs on a school campus.
Should Student Tracking Make Us Paranoid?
So many decades later, George Orwell’s great novel “1984″ seems so real, so plausible, so within reach. But while Orwell’s story made the dissolution of the right to privacy a terrible thing, today’s world is almost the inverse: With Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, it’s almost as if the world is embracing the new lack of privacy.
Is it different, however, when it comes to our children? Should parents, whether in Iran or in the United States (where student GPS tracking is already a reality in some areas), be concerned that their child’s location is being monitored by an eye in the sky? Or does that provide a sense of security for the parent?
Cataloguing the Future
Either way, the world is quickly moving toward cataloguing every movement of every human being on earth. Taking the world’s tactile matter and transforming it into data seems to be the end goal of the GPS movement–and it has the potential to make the world a much safer place for students and parents.