The Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance (GPS) Act

Police using a drone to track criminals.

Members of both the House and Senate have recently introduced the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act: requesting that police require a warrant in order to gather information via GPS tracking. Currently, police can use cellphone location data to track citizen movements, but lawmakers feel that this is unjust. A Useful Tool If Used Correctly There’s little doubt that GPS technology (whether in a phone or a GPS tracker) can provide police with valuable information in many different criminal and other cases. But lawmakers argue that these details should be private unless a warrant has been obtained. Simply purchasing a cellRead More

Appeals Court: Evidence From Warrantless Tracking Is Admissible


In a surprising turn of events, the ‘Third Circuit Court of Appeals’ has ruled that any evidence collected from a GPS tracking device placed in a suspect’s vehicle without obtaining a warrant beforehand is admissible in court. This comes in the wake of the US v. Katzin case, where officers relied on data collected from a GPS vehicle tracking device to link Katzin to a string of pharmacy robberies. The ACLU claims that the placement of the device constitutes an unreasonable search. The recent judgement is considered a “good-faith exception.” The Ruling It started after the Third Circuit Court ofRead More

GPS Tracking of NY Assemblyman Legal, But Acceptable?

MCAD Library

Politics can be a dirty game. Negative ads abound, and during voting season some politicians will stop at nothing to prove points. This was the case in NY when the state’s Assembly Republican Campaign Committee hired an investigator that placed a GPS tracking device on Democratic Assemblyman Edward Hennessey’s car. Why? To prove he didn’t live in the district he represented. Many, like Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle, feel that this is taking things too far – Morelle went so far as to say that the GOP should be “embarrassed by it.” Others, like the GOP Chairman Ed Cox, feltRead More

GPS Tracking the Celebrity Photo Hack

mikael altemark

Apple’s iCloud was recently targeted by hackers that stole some celebrity photos, and later shared and traded these photos online. Apple claims that its iCloud service is secure, and that the photos were taken through other means, including the possibility that hackers cracked email passwords. The strange thing about the stolen photos is, though, that some of the celebrities targeted claim the photos that were spread were actually deleted months ago. So, how can photos that were deleted a long time ago still exist? As it turns out, Apple’s iCloud stores photos for a long period of time, even afterRead More

GPS May Help With Immigrant Costs

Paul Townsend

According to a recent Reuter’s report, GPS tracking devices are being used to keep tabs on immigrant that file into the United States illegally. At the time of this writing, the U.S. is facing difficulties where detaining immigrants (mostly children) is concerned. Mass amounts of immigrants cross the U.S. border from a number of countries yearly, and the U.S. is running out of room to house these people. Presently, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials are toying with the idea of using GPS tracking bracelets and other devices to track illegal immigrants rather than to try and house them. TheRead More

Bill Banning Stalking Apps: The Debate Heats Up

GPS Trackers & Stalking

Did you hear about the bill introduced by Senator Al Franken in March? It is a bill that would effectively ban “stalking apps,” or apps that would hand over GPS location data of victims’ phones to predators and other people with less-than-good intentions. It isn’t the first time he has proposed the idea – he did the same prior to the 2012 election. It was never even introduced to the Senate thanks to special interest groups. He revised it just a bit, and it has found its way to the Senate floor. Franken wants to ban apps that track yourRead More

GPS-Enabled Drones Gaining Popularity For Commercial Use In Canada


The thought of unmanned aircrafts flying through our neighborhoods can have mixed reactions. For some, the convenience and futuristic technology is more than welcome. However, others have expressed concern about crowded skies and civilian privacy violations. Like it or not, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are becoming a part of everyday life, and quickly gaining popularity for commercial use. One Canadian film company has been using UAVs to filmToyota advertisements and other projects. “People are a little bit hesitant (at first) because they haven’t seen it done before, and there are some misconception of drone use, especially for the public,” explainedRead More

Is Employee Monitoring with GPS Technology Legal?

GPS tracking and navigation devices have become a part of everyday life in the U.S. and many other parts of the developed world. We have GPS on our phones and in our cars as little helpful tools that get us where we need to go, or even keep our loved ones safe. However, the very feature that makes this technology so helpful is also what makes it so potentially creepy. It is quite unnerving to think that someone might be tracking your every movement, especially without your consent. We’ve reported on big, landmark cases that called into question under whatRead More

GPS Tracking Bullets: The Great Debate

Some time ago, we featured a post detailing a new technology being employed by some police forces across the country, the GPS tracking bullet. If you didn’t catch that one, here’s the scoop. It’s essentially a mini-cannon mounted on the front of a police car. When the officer is involved in a high speed chase, they simply fire the cannon which ejects a bullet consisting of a “sticky” GPS device that can track the location of the vehicle no matter what happens. There are police departments in St. Petersburg, Florida, Iowa, and Ohio are testing the device out, called theRead More

GPS Tracker Ruled Unconstitutional

How familiar are you with the United States Constitution? According to a recent United States Court of Appeals case, police handling a string of pharmacy burglaries overstepped the suspect’s constitutional rights when they relied on a GPS tracking device to follow his movements. As the Constitution states, every citizen is to be guarded against unreasonable searches and seizures, and any warrant drawn up that could violate this right must find probable cause to do so. The problem here is that evolving technology is blurring the lines of the term “search.” According to the court’s ruling in the case of UnitedRead More