Investigators say the 51-year-old placed a GPS on the car to track his ex-girlfriend’s location.
1 in 4 stalking cases in the US today involve the use of GPS technology. This will become easier and easier and it really does require legislation to ensure that tracing devices are only used for legal purposes. As this story points out, at the time this person installed the tracking device on his ex-girlfriend’s car, it wasn’t illegal.
As new technology becomes more readily available and affordable, this is becoming more of a risk. A few years ago if you wanted to buy secret spy type technology you had to go to specialist suppliers, who would have mostly serviced law enforcement and security businesses. But now that you can buy consumer devices (typically sold for legitimate use, at very low cost, the risk becomes far more real.
There are companies now selling devices suitable for tracking things like an expensive work of art, your jet ski or golf clubs. Anyone can buy them and there are so many legitimate reasons you would do so, that a shop assistant would probably not even ask what your are buying it for.
The problem for Joe consumer is that they don’t know they are being tracked and probably have no reason to expect that it is even happening. Whether it is a domestic issue. a stalker, or someone setting up to steal your expensive sports car, this is as easy as going to your nearest consumer electronics store. Because you have no reason to expect anyone to track you or your belongings, this is becoming a risk.
I see a time in the future when people will have their own devices to scan for tracking devices as well as owning tracking devices to protect their own family and possessions. That sounds very 1984 to me. I would hate to live in such a paranoid society. Can we avoid it?
Oh and then of course there is the Internet of Things….