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Over the past few years no subject has been under more debate and scrutiny among 4th Amendment advocates, police agencies and lawyers than the use of GPS tracking system technology and how it relates to vehicle monitoring. This is because the use of GPS trackers among government and police agencies to conduct personal surveillance has been heavily criticized for infringing on the privacy rights of citizens. However, people should understand that an individual's right to privacy is entirely based on if that individual would have what is defined as a reasonable expectation to that privacy. This is essentially what is looked at when GPS tracker systems are placed upon a person's automobile.
Clearly, there are certain forums people understand they cannot expect privacy. Such as the case if a person sends out a message using Twitter or posts something on their Facebook wall (assuming they don't have privacy settings). When information is exposed in a public forum privacy simply cannot be expected. However, this same principle applies to people participating in everyday actions such as driving down the street. People who drive down the street can't cover up their license plates because when people become part of the public their information also becomes public. If a person doesn't want their vehicle seen by the public they have every right to keep it hidden in their garage. Basically, if a person is in public they shouldn't have an expectation of privacy.
Although the laws regarding the use of GPS vehicle tracking devices continue to change in different states, in many cases a person or government agency can place a GPS tracker on a person'a automobile if that automobile is in a public location. The street, the store or essentially any location outside of a person's private property could be classified as public. This means a police officer could affix a real-time GPS tracking system underneath a person's vehicle while they are inside a store shopping and then monitor the driving activity of that vehicle for days or weeks! Police authorities who go through the proper legal channels and acquire a warrant could also be granted the ability to place a GPS tracker inside the cab of a person's vehicle or hard-wire the tracker system.
There have been a number of cases reaching high courts involving police use of GPS tracking systems to monitor vehicles and people suspected of engaging in illegal activity. Of course, each case has had different results based on procedure and state laws so it is difficult to set a concrete standard, but regardless the authorities do have some ability to utilize search warrants as a method of using GPS trackers on vehicles.
What people should know is that they should not expect privacy while conducting affairs in public, and that police will always have some authority to use GPS tracking systems if they can establish some justifiable cause why. Therefore, people engaging in illegal conduct and activity should be aware that at any given time they could be under surveillance.Last Updated on Thursday, 12 December 2013 20:32
Public safety is always at the forefront of the conversation among political leaders and police agencies. This is because everyone wants to live in a environment that is secure and free from the criminal element. Unfortunately, many police departments are forced to work under tight budgets resulting in less man power and resources. Thankfully, modern technology has been filling that gap by providing law enforcement agencies the tools necessary to perform at a high level. One of these tools are GPS tracking systems and the state of Indiana is now considering using real-time GPS tracking devices to track those charged with felony stalking.
Dawn Hillyer is a resident of Fort Wayne, Indiana that understands in detail the terror felt from stalking. This is because for six years Hillyer was sent harassing emails, along with threatening text and voice messages to her cell phone by a man named Mike McClellan. Hillyer was tormented by her stalker which led to her fearing for her life on a daily basis. McClellan was eventually arrested and sentenced to 10 years in prison, but Hillyer believes the state should do more to ensure safety of the victims and that is why she is a strong proponent of using GPS tracking systems to track all felony stalkers that are released from jail.
How this GPS tracking plan would work is a rather simple process. Once the convicted stalker is released from incarceration they would be required to wear a GPS tracker that would be strapped to the ankle or wrist. The GPS tracking system would send out a signal providing locational data in real-time. The victim would be given a receiver that could detect the signal being transmitted from the GPS tracking device equipped on the stalker. Therefore, if that stalker gets anywhere near their past victim(s) they will be instantly alerted. Although the state of Indiana does not have legislation that offers this type of GPS tracking program at this point in time such a measure is gaining momentum. Especially, with other states already moving forward with plans to monitor stalkers and sexual offenders using GPS devices.
A chief deputy working for Allen County agrees that using real-time GPS tracking systems would provide additional safety for victims of stalking but also stated that using such tracking systems would create additional budgetary issues in a time when most states are seeing cutbacks across the board. His primary concern is that real-time GPS tracking systems require two costs: the hardware and data service. That means once the GPS trackers are purchased each tracking device would require a monthly service fee for as long as the tracker was in use. This monthly cost could be as high as $49.95 per unit, and therefore could be challenging to get taxpayers to cover that bill. The reality safety has a cost and sometimes there simply isn't enough money in the bank to cover the costs for programs that use GPS tracking systems.
Do you think the state should invest in GPS tracker systems to better protect victims of stalking? Should the convicted stalkers be forced to pay for the costs associated with data and GPS tracking hardware?Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 December 2013 22:29
Politics and corruption have gone together hand in hand ever since the first moment people gave power to an individual. Unfortunately for former San Diego mayor Bob Filner, political power doesn't mean you are above the law. Filner learned this the hard way when earlier this week he received a three month sentence of house arrest for his involvement in multiple cases of sexual harassment that were the catalyst behind his recent resignation. That means instead of a suit Filner will be wearing a GPS tracking system that will record his location using real-time tracking. After the house arrest sentence is complete Filner will be placed on probation for 3 years and will never again be able to run for any form of public office.
Although the house arrest, GPS tracking and probation seem like a stiff penalty, many in the public were upset with the punishment perceived by many to be light. This is because even after a guilty plea to false imprisonment and a couple counts of battery the former mayor still did not have to spend any time behind bars for his actions. Maybe it was his political endeavors, connections or strategically crafted public apology that resulted in such leniency, but regardless many are upset with the outcome.
"I think it's ridiculous that even after admission of guilt for his behavior that this clown won't have to spend any time in prison", stated a San Diego resident responding to the news.
Filner will begin his house arrest starting the first day of 2014 and a GPS tracker will be used to monitor his location at all times from the date for three months. Along with an extended probation period the former San Diego mayor will also be required to seek professional psychological help.
Filner was also penalized with a fine of $1,500 for pleasing guilty.
Among some of those disappointed with the soft sentence was famous attorney Gloria Allred who continues representing one woman who filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Filner. Her criticism of the sentence was that any criminal who admits to committing a felony and multiple misdemeanors should face something more than essentially a three month vacation at home.
Do you agree with the sentence that Filner received or feel that his punishment was much too light for the crimes he admitted to committing?Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 December 2013 19:53
When it comes to the use of personal GPS monitoring trackers, law enforcing entities are quite familiar with the advantageous data provided from real-time GPS solutions. This is why Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie is seeking to identify and close loop holes in the current GPS tracking system laws in Australia, while also seeking to modify current legislation to better monitor dangerous sexual offenders.
What this new proposition backed by Bleijie would do is capture more criminals violating the Dangerous Prisoners Act, resulting in longer prison sentences and mandatory GPS tracking of those released from incarceration. Some of these criminal acts described as minor and not falling under the Dangerous Prisoners Act include such things as groping and lifting the skirts of women strangers. According to data and case studies from psychologists, these types of behaviors should not be viewed as minor offenses but rather behaviors that can easily manifest into more serious and aggressive sexual attacks or offenses. With changes to the existing law Bleijie would be able to list those committing publicly perceived minor offenses as standard sexual offenses and force predators to undergo registration and possible GPS tracking.
The key component to the law that would be modified would provide Bleijie and law enforcement the ability to move forward with additional oversight if they suspect any prisoner or offender may become involved in any future inappropriate sexual offenses. Most likely that action would involve the use of a GPS tracking device to track where that individual is located at all times while providing real-time GPS locational information.
"The reality is that law enforcement and government agencies need laws that will allow them to be proactive in keeping dangerous sexual offenders behind bars, and any changes that can be made to existing laws to achieve that end result would be a step in the right direction", explained a expert on GPS surveillance at Tracking System Direct.
The Queensland sex offender and GPS tracking laws are currently in the process of being evaluated by Bleijie who has stated he intends on doing whatever is necessary to make his region of Australia safer for children.Last Updated on Monday, 09 December 2013 18:49
State and government agencies routinely employ technologically advanced equipment to monitor assets, property and other valuable materials. Unfortunately for a teenager in Plover, Wisconsin, he had to learn this the hard way.
David Kasongo was a 19-year-old Madison resident who was working as an intern with Portage County Highway Department at one of their facilities located in Plover. The man would travel to the Highway Department complex approximately four times a week to perform a number of different odd jobs. However, Kasongo was also performing an illegal job as well: stealing fuel from his government employee. Roughly 120 gallons of gasoline to be exact!
The story begins when local residents reported unusual activity near the Plover facility, resulting in a Highway Department investigation. Using security products such as hidden surveillance cameras on facility grounds to monitor movements and a GPS tracking system to track the department work vehicle operated by Kasongo, the Highway Department was able to conclude the teen was filling gas cans then hiding them in the nearby woods.
With evidence provided from the hidden camera and GPS vehicle tracking system data, authorities charged Kasongo with multiple crimes including misconduct as a public employee and theft. Reports estimate that the total value of fuel stolen was roughly $420.
Many businesses and state departments use GPS tracking system technology as a measure to enhance security while improving workplace efficiency. However, some workers have stated publicly that they feel the process of GPS tracking infringes on privacy rights and simply makes them feel uncomfortable. Although each business and each government or state agency must determine if GPS tracking is a solution that is best for them one thing is certain and that is that a GPS vehicle tracking system was critical in helping the Portage County Highway Department catch a individual committing crimes.Last Updated on Monday, 18 November 2013 19:30