No one disputes the benefits of GPS tracking. Global Positioning Systems have made it possible to track everything from stolen cars to lost hikers. GPS vehicle tracking has transformed the transportation, logistics, shipping industries and field service businesses. GPS-enabled cell phone apps allow us to quickly find a new restaurant, the fastest route around a traffic jam, even an empty downtown parking meter.
New Legal Issues
Improvements in GPS technology have encouraged its adoption in an ever-expanding array of applications. The application of GPS tracking to retail merchandising, product marketing, vehicle safety and social media has introduced a new era of people GPS tracking that is raising a host of new legal issues.
GPS Act Languishes
Like any technology, GPS tracking has the potential to be abused. Charges of alleged GPS abuse by law enforcement agencies and concerns about potential infringement of individual civil liberties led bipartisan sponsors Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Jason Chaffetz to introduce the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act, better known as the GPS Act, in Congress in 2011. The bill is designed to provide legal guidelines to government agencies, commercial businesses and private citizens regarding the access and use of geolocation information.
Congressional wrangling has left the bill languishing in committee and its future remains uncertain. Some advocates for federal GPS regulations fear that the original act is already obsolete.
Supreme Court Steps In
In what the Washington Post called “a first test of how privacy rights will be protected in the digital age,” the Supreme Court voted to restrict police use of GPS devices to track criminal suspects in 2012. However, legal guidelines on GPS use have been few and limited to law enforcement. The legal debate on how to balance the benefits of people GPS tracking against the privacy rights of individuals is still ramping up.
Justice Alioto told the New York Times, “New technology may provide increased convenience or security at the expense of privacy, and many people may find the tradeoff worthwhile.” As the Times pointed out, “Our rights change when technology does.”
GPS tracking has been proven to increase business profits by improving efficiency, decreasing theft and improving fuel efficiency. Contact us today to find out how GPSTrackIt.com/ can help your business succeed.
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