As the world around us continues to become more tech-driven all the time, the subject of our privacy is one that comes up with increased regularity. On the one hand, we seem to have willingly given up a certain degree of it for the sake of the convenience that our new digital era has brought with it. We’re constantly informing our friends and family members what we’re up to on social media. Huge volumes of personal data are being stored in the cloud at any given moment. We’re constantly sharing pictures, making posts and letting even people who are halfway around the world get a glimpse of our most private moments on a regular basis.

GPS Car Tracking Device

There’s a dark downside to all of this convenience, too — as is the case with certain types of GPS devices. If you put a GPS device on your own car in an effort to gain better visibility into the habits of a teenage driver or to help track your car in the event that it is stolen, that’s one thing. If someone else does it without your knowledge to keep a close eye on you, that’s something else entirely.

Sadly, the latter is something that is becoming all too common in the new age — as a lot of women drivers in particular have had to learn the hard way.

 

GPS devices and unsuspecting women: The situation

Anyone who is familiar with the popular television show “Breaking Bad” no doubt remembers a plot point during the show’s sixth season where Hank, a DEA agent and the main character’s brother-in-law, begins to suspect that our hero Walt may be the notorious drug dealer he’s been looking for. In an effort to keep a better eye on Walt and confirm his suspicions, Hank places a GPS tracking device under Walt’s car to see what he’s been up to.

More or less, that’s exactly what has been happening to female drivers across the country (sans the drug dealing, of course).

A man in Massachusetts, for example, secretly placed a GPS tracker on his female co-worker’s car and tracked her movements for days. The man was eventually charged with stalking after he was caught red-handed by surveillance cameras near the woman’s home.

Another woman from Georgia said she was absolutely shocked one day while she was driving and hit a curb — not because of the damage that she had done to her vehicle but because of the portable GPS tracker that had fallen off of it. As it turns out, the device was placed there by a licensed private detective who had been secretly recording video of the woman and her daughter. It’s important to note that this man in particular was never charged with a crime, as shockingly what he did isn’t actually illegal in the state of Georgia.

This is one of those debates that, sadly, is not quick to yield any easy answers. If the police want to use a GPS tracker to spy on someone, they typically have to go through proper channels in order to do so. They have to prove their case to a judge and get a warrant, adding a layer of accountability into the proceedings. But if the person who wants to track you is a co-worker, a jaded ex, or someone with a misguided crush, there’s not really much one can do to stop them. A jury may wind up siding with that person anyway, as was the case in Georgia, and at that point all you’re left with is a feeling of frustration and a deep invasion of your own privacy.

At this point, it’s clear that this is one problem that is only going to get worse before it gets better. It’s also a topic that all of us would do well to keep a watchful eye on moving forward. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it one day could — and at that point, there’s no telling what might occur.