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GPS Finds New Use In Tracking Criminals

GPS Finds New Use In Tracking Criminals


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The advocates of this new use for GPS say the technology can save lives, however some detractors see a widening breach of civil liberties and only the illusion of protection.

As authorities around the world expand the use of electronic monitoring to fight crime, they are moving beyond its early use in tracking movements of sex offenders to include gang members who have been released on probation, people accused of repeated violence against women and even truant students at schools.

At the heart of the surveillance is the Global Positioning System, or GPS, mainly used at present to help people from not getting lost on the roads. GPS monitoring is already established in parts of Europe but applied more narrowly, and it is growing fast in Latin America and parts of Asia.

As opposed to current electronic bracelets, which are based on RFID technology, the GPS version send signals via satellite to computer servers if criminals go places they should not — “exclusion zones.”