GPS devices or global positioning systems have recently become popular for consumer use. However, the concept of global positioning has been around for a while. When people think of GPS devices today, they usually think of a portable device or one that is built in to a vehicle for the purpose of giving directions. However, directions are not the only use for GPS devices. In fact, using GPS devices for directional purposes is a rather modern use of these systems in comparison to some of the more traditional uses. |
Not only are GPS devices useful for giving directions, but they can be used with sort of an opposite effect as well. When a person uses a GPS to find directions, they are using a device that locates their own position. However, if it is implanted inside of an object, GPS receivers can be used to track that object or the user of that object.
GPS devices on cell phones have other benefits than just giving directions to the person using the cell phone. This individual, by virtue of his or her having the phone, can be tracked by others. This feature is primarily designed to help parents keep an eye on their children. Other, similar systems, like the LoJack device implanted in vehicles can help locate people in the event of an emergency.
The same technology that allows people to keep an eye on each other allows people to keep track of lost or stolen property. Recently, consumers have begun looking into implanting GPS devices into expensive pieces of technology, such as iPads and expensive cell phones in order to easily locate misplaced items. This technology is different from using a portable GPS that attaches to a vehicle, since nobody can track the device unless it is registered.
For all of the benefits of GPS Technology, these systems can be used for less than positive purposes as well. In the wrong hands, GPS Tracking Devices can be used for malicious purposes. Recently, legal cases have emerged regarding the use of GPS tracking chips to keep track of ex spouses and lovers. Since parents are allowed to use GPS chips to keep track of their children, these laws are slightly blurry. When GPS devices are used for inappropriate purposes, these cases usually fall under stalking laws. As with any new type of technology, modern society is still adjusting, both socially and legally, to the scope of uses GPS devices bring.
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