Last month, there was a flurry of activity related to location tracking. On one paw, tracking of individuals and equipment was getting close scrutiny in legal circles in an effort to stop the activity. On the other paw, various companies were doing everything they could to promote the practice - to include tracking individuals inside work spaces. Here are some examples and links to where to go for more:
House Action Would Thwart GPS-Aided Tracking of Commercial Trucks (Inside GNSS, June 29, 2012)
Apple Fails to Fend Off Mobile Tracking Lawsuit (Reuters, June 13, 2012)
‘Find Friends Nearby’: Facebook’s New Mobile Feature For Finding People Around You (TechCrunch.com, June 24, 2012)
Google Maps Where Your Workers Are (New York Times, June 21, 2012)
Comment: As related by the conflicting viewpoints found in the articles above, one of the issues we face going forward is determining when and where the use of location tracking technology is appropriate. With regard to Emergency Management, during Katrina one of the most vexing problems confronting planners and responders was there was no way to have any real-time picture of where equipment and manpower was located. Consequently, within the Emergency Management world there is an absolute need for Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) and similar tracking technologies in the years ahead. And given the capabilities now shown by the likes of Facebook and Google, there is also absolutely no reason why that technology can not be put in place sooner, rather than later.
Lead picture credit: JustForDogs.com