GPS Tracking in Trouble

Nonstop tracking, continual data collection, a clear record to follow: good or bad? While the answers to that question will continue to fill pages of cyber and printed space and the opinions behind those answers will continue to be sharp, at least one man in Ohio has an experience that could cut through the chaos of speculation. Saved by the GPS technology enabled on his phone, a fisherman in a Cincinnati park was rescued three days after he didn’t make it home. Although he couldn’t reach his phone to place a call for help after his injuries, his phone reachedRead More

GPS Tracking: Public Safety vs Citizen Privacy

GPS technology was no doubt instrumental in catching international terrorists following the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. It certainly has proven convenient in users’ lives in everything from online shopping to mobile banking or finding directions to places while en route to looking up fun destinations while travelling. The ability to do such things with the help of GPS is amazing, but, after the recent release of activities that the NSA and other government programs use the same GPS monitoring for, some individuals are beginning to question whether the rights to privacy that United States citizens gave upRead More

The Legal Future of GPS Tracking: There’s No Escaping It

As GPS technology develops and its uses become more numerous and diverse, those who own mobile devices capable of being electronically monitored or GPS tracking equipment will be increasingly affected by it on a daily basis. One arena in which the use of GPS tracking has exploded in recent years is in the courts and in dealing with the law. The use of GPS technology to find and follow criminals is no longer new. Suspects and convicted high risk offenders released from prison are fitted with ankle bracelets, their whereabouts monitored to ensure they’re nowhere near off-limits zones. More recently,Read More

Law Enforcement’s Use of Drones Raises Privacy Questions

Law enforcement’s use of GPS tracking technology in drones gives rise to many questions regarding issues such as regulation, privacy and usefulness. A Medina County, Ohio sheriff’s office has two such unmanned aerial systems and is exploring answers to these questions. The state of Ohio itself will probably propose legislation this year to address issues on both sides.   Unmanned Aerial Systems Drones cost about $25,000, have a camera and are infrared- and GPS-equipped. Weighing about 2 pounds, drones must have permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to be flown (though FAA restrictions have not been finalized). The Medina CountyRead More

GPS Student Tracking Spreads Around the World

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.  Read More

Lawmakers Trying to Limit The Use of GPS Tracking By Law Enforcement

Legislation was introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers from both the House and the Senate that requires police to obtain a warrant prior to collecting data from a suspect’s tablet, cellphone, car, or any other electronic device.   The Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance (GPS) Act addresses both location records held by cellphone service providers and real-time tracking of people as they move about town.   A total of 9 representatives in the House along with two senators brought the bills forward respectively. Among them: representatives Jason Chaffetz, John Conyers, and Jim Sensenbrenner, and Senators Ron Wyden an Mark Kirk.Read More

Safety in Enablement of GPS Location Services Possible on smartphones

While the perks of GPS tracking location services can be appealing, many users of smartphones have raised valid questions of privacy and security. What safeguards do cell phone manufacturers use to ensure security of clients’ data? How easy it is for strangers or predatory individuals to access GPS tracking data from smartphones? Are cell phone companies doing anything to address the concerns of their clients?Indeed they are. Trustworthy smartphone and app developers have worked very hard to keep a standard of integrity and safety in their products.   The technologies of smartphones has exploded in recent years, enough so thatRead More

GPS Technology: Cost Saving Devices or Invasions of Employee Privacy?

As more local governments utilize GPS technology in their vehicles, questions are being raised about the devices’ cost-effectiveness and their employee monitoring capabilities.  Many county offices have added the units to their fleet in an effort to save on fuel costs and increase employee productivity.   Advocates of the technology say that the devices will provide drivers with the most direct routes to their destinations, thus increasing agency efficiency and response times as well as limiting the use of costly fuel. After installing the GPS sytem in their vehicles, the Baltimore county fleet drove 493,463 miles in October 2012, asRead More

Franken Bill to Limit Sharing of Private GPS Tracking Data

At some point, everyone who uses a GPS tracked device like a smartphone or iPod Touch has come in contact with the option of “location services” and the unease some people have with regard to their privacy. While the tracking app on such devices can be fun (checking in to a location of Facebook) or even helpful (GPS tracking your current location on Fandango for a nearby movie theater), the automatic constant recording and saving of the owner’s location and corresponding time there (cited most recently as an issue with Androids, iPhones, iPads, Windows Phone 7, car navigation systems, andRead More

Shutting Down Stalkers

spying

Congress is getting closer to closing one of the most frightening loopholes in GPS technology. There has always been an undercurrent of uneasiness about privacy when it comes to GPS-enabled smartphones, but many of us don’t realize just how bad the problem is. If senators, representatives, and the President can cooperate to get the bill signed into law, it will go far to protect users of smartphones from potentially dangerous criminals.     What’s the worst use of GPS technology that you can think of? How about this: a stalker gaining access to your smartphone’s GPS data, then using itRead More