Privacy and Ethical Concerns in Location-Based Tracking Systems

Location-based tracking software systems (LBSs) issues various techniques in recording the locations of objects. Nonetheless, LBS are known to succumb to privacy risk issues a well as the security of individuals.

In addition to the tracking of individual location, an estimation of the location might also create severe privacy challenges such that all available comprehensive location data records produce nearly accurate predictions about the user. Previously, it had proved very difficult distinguishing between violations of privacy and losses when an LBS records people’s locations.

An individual’s privacy may not, however, be threatened by the collection of public location information, rather, it’s by the centralization of the aggregate information, and also through the combination of the location’s information with other personal information. Additionally, there must be an informed consent first before collecting of information which might cause the violation of privacy.

LBS devices, together with the Control (Legal), which is commonly GPS are used in the control of, and in the offering of privacy-related services to individuals. Often, they are used in the control of a person’s direction of moving by providing the right guidance.

In case of children GPS tracking, the parents have an exclusive right of looking after their children; it is impossible for the children to make their decision. Hence, it is their legal duty and right in monitoring their children and in so doing showing a sense of caring. In the event of law enforcement, there are special laws that guarantee the police and other security departments the legal rights to keep watch on the suspects or criminals.

Trust (Social) – Trust is one of the most critical and complementary of human’s relationship in social life. Nonetheless, the application of LBS undermines trust conditions. When LBS tracking software is used to monitor people, it negatively impacts on the personal relationship. On the other hand, as far as tracking of children by parents or tracking of criminals by cops is concerned, it acts for the welfare of the whole society or fo an individual.

Privacy (Ethical)

Human beings are entitled to the right to privacy and the freedom of exemption from intrusion or indulgence in one’s personal life. However, in the case of tracking systems like the LBS or other related systems, for example, the telecommunication technologies that deal with information transformation, it becomes necessary that sufficient security is given to these kinds of data so that they may not be mishandled by an unauthorized person. Monitoring and tracking of people without their consent is forbidden and utterly purely unethical therefore the need for high-security levels. On the contrary, in the case of law and order, tracking devices might be used to monitor criminals as an essential element on behalf of the whole society. In this case, social security will be esteemed higher than Individual safety and security thereby undermining individual security or privacy.

Security (Technological)

On the other hand, it should be known that privacy and security is a serious stake which calls for strong and efficient security systems. Just like it is to every technological tool, they both may impact positive and negative consequences on human life. In the like manner, LBS to has shortcomings in locating accurate information or even the system might mistakably give the most private data to unauthorized people. Whereas LBS contributes to both personal and national security, LBS at the same time results in individual’s privacy risk by not providing the reliable security system and protection of the highly sensitive information collected in their database.

In this matter, an individual might need to allow a little compromise on his/her privacy, but the question would remain, “To what extent can one do this?”