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GPS Security And Privacy: How Will It Affect You?

Jun 10, 2008
As you may well be aware, there are many important benefits to consider when using the Global Positioning Satellite System (GPS). It is invaluable when trying to navigate in unfamiliar areas, but some people think it is an invasion of privacy. Security and privacy have been openly debated, and most adults believe that it is more beneficial than detrimental.

GPS vehicle tracking devices can be used to monitor many types of data such as how many miles a car has been driven, how fast the automobile was going, and where the vehicle is located. This all varies depending on the device and system that is utilized.

At times, individuals perceive this as an invasion of privacy. For instance, most customers fail to read the fine print on car rental contracts that states additional charges will be accrued if the driver exceeds a speed of 79 miles per hour. The GPS tracking mechanisms employed by rental companies could record the incidence and frequency of times when drivers do exceed this limit, and charge the credit card on file an added wear and tear fee based on this information.

Frequently, parents believe that GPS security and privacy issues are minimal in comparison with the security of knowing the location of their child. In fact, some parents use GPS devices to monitor their child's location and activities. If their child fails to follow the parents' guidelines, these parents may opt to suspend driving and socialization privileges.

There are two types of GPS vehicle tracking systems. Passive GPS tracking devices will record data such as location and speed. The data can later be downloaded to a computer for analysis. With a real-time device, it is possible to track the vehicle live via the Internet. A GPS vehicle tracking system can be used to strengthen a company's bottom line by improving productivity and efficiency.

GPS cell phones no longer require people to purchase expensive hardware to track a loved one. Cell phone companies now offer this option. However most cell phones do not offer the user direct access to the GPS data. Accurate location determination requires the assistance of the wireless network, and the GPS data is transmitted only if a 911 emergency call is made.

The FCC's E-911 mandate that requires cell phone location data to be available to emergency responders has resulted in the development of GPS enabled phones. This technology is very useful and potentially life-saving, but some people are concerned about how this information will be utilized and by whom. Who might track their movements and activities or even record phone calls?

GPS security and privacy comes in to play again with cell phones. Not all people are aware that they can be tracked with their cell phones. This can also help the police conduct business, making their jobs much easier. Authorities are able to locate both criminals and victims, as well as stolen vehicles. Every year there are new and improved models of these tracking devices, with new features and updates. These tracking systems can provide safety and help to protect us and our loved ones. The information they provide also has the potential to be abused.
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GPS cell phones and GPS vehicle tracking devices provide safety and convenience but at what price?
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