The latest trend in technology that is making a buzz in the market is location tracking. Location tracking can be used, for a number purpose from government surveillance, to online consumer tracking. When you look around, you will realize that everyone carries a Smartphone these days. These phones are not just smart enough to do everything you want them to do, but they are also smart enough to keep a tab of your location. They are constantly sending and receiving signals and tracking every single movement of yours. This trend is getting the attention of several organizations and establishments. The growing demand of these services has led to the development of this area of location service analytics.
The most commonly used technology for tracking user location is GPS. The technology uses the timing signals sent out from the orbiting satellites to the device for computing the actual location of the device and user. As internet technologies have evolved, location tracking has also become more accessible to people. There are a number of tools and applications that can be used for location tracking purposes. Mobile phones send out signals to the local towers, Wi-Fi setups and Bluetooth devices all the time. These signals can be easily tracked to determine the location of the user. As a result, it is [possible to track and mark the movements of a user on the granular scale.
Government’s View of Location Data
There have been complaints of privacy intrusion by users of GPS when organizations or establishments track their location without taking any prior permission from them. The past has witnessed several cases where the Police had used GPS techniques for tracing convicts. However, complaints were made against the Police for encroaching on the privacy of the individuals. Therefore, it was decided that permission must be taken from the user or the court before using location tracking services.
Retailers View of Location Data
It is a common practice followed, by retailers, to track the location of the customers who enter their stores to gather information about when their stores are the busiest. However, these occurrences were not taken positively by the customers as most of the customers complained of privacy encroachment. This data was being exported to other companies like insurance and telecom companies. As a result, the customers had to attend several calls from executives, which caused them inconvenience. It was decided that companies must be transparent in their operations and the data accumulated from location tracking must not be exported in any condition.
Employers View of Location Data
Currently, there are no laws for protecting the privacy of employees by employers. However, companies that perform location tracking for their employees seek their consent beforehand to avert any legal implications.
The mobile you carry or device that you take everywhere you go is continually sending out signals, disclosing your location to the concerned company. There are several legal standards that have been made keeping view of consumer’s privacy rights. However, as the location tracking technology is evolving, it is important for consumers to know and exercise their privacy protection rights to protect their personal data from becoming vulnerable to intruders.