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Gps Tracking Car - Looking at the Role of GPS Car Systems

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Think GPS and most people think about maps and receiving accurate directions to a destination. In reality, global positioning systems have gone far beyond delivering a driver from Point A to Point B.
Technology has extended tracking devices giving GPS car systems the ability to track the whereabouts of any vehicle.

GPS tracking car devices could be used for many worthwhile purposes with good intentions. At first glance the benefit of such a device seems obvious. GPS car systems could help parents monitor their children’s driving habits or play a vital role in law enforcement tracking down the bad guys. A tracking system could make a life or death difference when a stranded driver slides in a ditch during a snowstorm. It could assist in an emergency rescue.

GPS car systems could also prove to be a violation of a person’s right to privacy. Think about all the possibilities of using GPS tracking in a car; it seems apparent that GPS car systems offer many of the same features used in electronic monitoring devices worn by felons on probation. Electronic surveillance used by law enforcement to track work release prisoners, including electronic monitoring bracelets worn around the ankles of America’s convicts, is now monitoring citizens who have not committed any crimes.

In that regard, GPS car systems sound too close to George Orwell in 1984 with Big Brother watching your every move. It smacks of government control or restricted freedom found in some other country but not in the United States where freedom is celebrated. Considering the potential of such devices, how can a person’s right to privacy and devices like GPS car systems co-exist?

The whole invasion of privacy issue is currently traveling through the court system challenging the role of GPS car systems. Using GPS tracking in cars has come under close scrutiny across the United States. So far it appears the courts support the right of a parent in using GPS tracking in cars to monitor their children’s whereabouts. As a safety feature GPS car systems provide technical information that can access driving behavior and map the exact route a car has traveled, where it stopped and other details. It appears the courts endorse tracking systems when it comes to safety.

As a security device to monitor personal property, GPS car systems could reduce car theft and end up lowering insurance costs due to less risk. That is another role of GPS tracking challenged in courts. Some cases have been ruled as illegal searches without a warrant but in some cases the courts have ruled in favorite of law enforcement.

In one example, a police officer placed a GPS tracking device in the trunk of known sex offender without the man’s permission. Police tracked his vehicle to an empty lot where they arrested him and saved the young girl he abducted from being harmed. The courts allowed all the evidence traced on the GPS car system to be used in court. They ruled that this offender lost his right to privacy by committing past criminal acts making it probable it might happen again. The police officer’s intention to protect the public trumped the sex offenders right to privacy. The GPS car system played a crucial role in the man’s conviction.

In addition to safety and security, there are companies who promote GPS car system as spy ware. The same technology that allows parents to track their kids or law enforcement to track a criminal can help a jealous spouse prove that a partner is cheating. Many businesses who sell car systems for the purpose of spying claim tracking an individual’s car is a normal part of private investigation. Spying adds another controversial element to the role of GPS car systems.

Using GPS systems in cars for tracking purposes is available to the public. Whether you support it or not, GPS devices used for security, safety or spying can be purchased on line and in local electronics stores. Starting under $200, consumers can purchase a GPS car system with monitoring capabilities needed to track a vehicle. Like most products on the market, you can also spend large amounts of money to obtain high-end models of GPS car systems.

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