Do Not Track! Geospatial Technologies

Research output: Contribution to Newspaper/Magazine/BulletinArticle

Abstract

There is a saying that “it takes a thief to catch a thief”. This is because to know the modus operandi of a presumptive thief is to know when, where and how that person operates. What better way than to put a ‘tag’ that will follow every movement of that person to gather evidence in order to implicate that person. Hiding a global positioning system (GPS) on a person’s vehicle is one means of collecting information with a view to later prosecution of the driver of the vehicle where a criminal act is committed. Simple logic, one might think. But all that is not what it seems because every person has rights not only of a personal and private nature but also over one’s property. In the U.S. it seems that law enforcement agencies cannot use GPS equipment planted on vehicles to gather information from suspects without a credible and probable cause of criminal activity and without a court warrant. In the recent case of United States v. Jones 132 S. Ct. 945 (2012) at the U.S. Supreme Court, all nine Supreme Court Justices agreed that Jones was searched when police attached a GPS device to the undercarriage of his car and tracked his movements for four weeks. The act of attaching the device was a violation of Jones’s rights to his property and effects. The monitoring of Jones was a violation of his reasonable expectation of privacy. And, the Fourth Amendment provides significant other guarantees.
Original languageEnglish
Pages8-13
Number of pages6
Specialist publicationCoordinates
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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