Location Tracking: What It Is and Why It Should Be Banned

Location Tracking

Technology has drastically changed the way most people live their lives. This includes the business world, where technology allows people to access the internet from any place at any time. Even though modern technology is fantastic, it also puts people’s privacy at risk.  Because we have access to our own confidential information at any time, others might try to get their hands on it as well. Many people depend on their smartphones  to give them real-time directions about traffic jams, construction projects, and accidents on the road. 

However, users might have their locations tracked without their consent. Therefore, unmitigated location tracking is a practice that should be banned. It is critical to take a closer look at this practice, the implications of it, and why it needs to be stopped.

How Does Location Tracking Work?

The most obvious application of GPS technology is to help people find directions to their destination. Even though this is one of the most useful smartphone features, many people do not realize that their GPS is always running in the background. There is a reason why the “find my phone” function works even when someone is not using their GPS. 

Today, there are concerns that regulatory authorities might be using someone’s location without their consent to track their movements. This is a severe, egregious invasion of someone’s privacy and it could place innocent people in harm’s way unnecessarily.

Law Enforcement Is Using People’s Locations To Crack Cases

Right now, there are law enforcement organizations all over the country that are using the locations provided by people’s smartphones to narrow the suspect pool in various investigations. Even though law enforcement officials are able to solve cases more quickly, there is a tremendous amount of collateral damage that simply makes this practice unacceptable. 

When detectives have a specific location and period of time when a crime might have been committed, they often ask the judge for a geofence warrant. This lets technology companies such as Google provide all information about people who were located in the area at that time. Nevertheless, countless innocent people are also thrown in the middle of this investigation. Some of the biggest issues related to this practice include:[adsense]

  • Large numbers of people have visited the specific space at the given time, which means that law enforcement officials are not really narrowing down the suspect pool that much.
  • The people did not provide their consent, meaning that this is a ridiculous invasion of their privacy.
  • Numerous people had their time wasted on an irrelevant investigation.
  • Sometimes, detectives go back and realize that the crime was actually committed at a different time or in a different location, meaning that the geofence warrant was a waste of time.

If the investigators have a prime suspect for the crime, then it might be appropriate to request a warrant to access his or her phone. On the other hand, using a warrant to gain information about countless people purely for the purpose of tracking their locations is ridiculous, and represents an absurd invasion of people’s privacy. This is a practice that must be stopped.

The Coronavirus Pandemic Could Lead to Universal Tracking

Universal location tracking is a problem that has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. Contact tracing is an important part of tracking down viral cases and making sure everyone who needs to be tested is alerted to this fact. On the other hand, many people in the technology community are using universal tracking via smart device GPS to help with contact tracing.

A recent Google Play update allows the application to universally track all Android users indiscriminately. Even though the goal is to help with tracing contacts, this is a slippery slope. The continued application of universal location tracking is only going to unnecessarily place people at the center of police investigations. Furthermore, this type of information might also be surrendered to marketing professionals, leading to other invasions of privacy. What happens if this information is subjected to a data breach? 

Ultimately, technology is supposed to benefit people’s lives. Universal location tracking is not doing that and it must be banned immediately. It is possible to use residential proxies to scramble someone’s location and combat this practice. If you want to find more information about residential proxies, we strongly recommend reading an article Residential Proxies 101: What, How, and Why on Proxyway blog.