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GPS Navigation, GPS Tracking Devices and Big Brother

September 10th, 2005

Lately there have been news stories about GPS “creeping” into the workplace. It’s well known that GPS technology gives businesses a tool to monitor and assist workers to increase efficiency and production levels. Workers’ fears and concerns may be a bit misplaced and then again it’s easy to understand their complaints.

Enraged cabbies, truck drivers, and most recently WABC-TV News employees are feeling paranoid these days, some would claim for good reason. Union officials in a various industries are waving the yellow flag that rights are being violated. It’s just a matter of time before courts become flooded with cases about GPS and alleged constitutional rights violations.

Five years back a convicted first degree murderer appealed to the Supreme Court of Washington, whether a warrant was required for the installation and use of GPS on his vehicle. The court held that a warrant was required before authorities can install and use a GPS device on a private vehicle. Is GPS in for some good legal battles? The jury is still out.

Regarding GPS in private vehicles, New York Civil Liberties Union claims it’s not getting involved though they put their weight on the side of the drivers against the City Taxi and Limousine Commission’s decision to install GPS units in taxis. We’re not holding our breathe, we have a sneaking suspicion that the chaps at the ACLU aren’t about to shy away from appearing in the courts battling GPS ‘intrusions’ in the workplace, privacy is something we all cherish. GPS in the workplace could be viewed as part of the routine like punching a time clock.

All kinds of ideas for GPS applications, ranging from brilliant to pure zan
There are all kinds of ideas for GPS applications, ranging from brilliant to pure zaney.

I read at that it would be a good idea to put GPS tracking devices on guns just in case the gun’s owner decides to take take the gun with him into a no gun zone. Police could be notified via GPS immediatly. Interesting.? Yes. Privacy issues? Definitely. The NRA wouldn’t be thrilled.

Bottom line is GPS technology is powerful. How we use GPS impacts significantly on the quality of our lives. The development and usage of GPS applications and units we are witnessing in our society today are not only truelly amazing they are proving to be extremely beneficial to us in countless profound ways we could never have imagined just a few years back.

NavigatorGPS hears the truckers, the cabbies and the WABC-TV News crews and agrees with your protests though we don’t view GPS as ‘big brother’ ‘creeping’ and ‘crawlin’ into the workplace. Media prefers to portray issues in black and white, in this case GPS applications and privacy rights is a grey area worthy of debate and discussion. Companies need to be more sensitive to their workers and employees may have to “bite the bullet” because GPS is part of the new work environment.
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