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GPS Tracker on a Person

Why is it in the news?

  • A prisoner in Jammu and Kashmir was released on bail with a GPS tracking device attached to monitor his movements, a first in India.

 About GPS Tracker

  • GPS trackers are small, wearable devices used to monitor an individual’s location in real time.
  • They are tamper-proof, and any attempt to tamper with them triggers an alarm. Removal without authorization damages the device.
  • GPS trackers can be attached to the ankle or arm, resulting in GPS anklets or GPS bracelets.
  • These devices are widely available and are used not only on individuals but also on animals and vehicles.


Reason for GPS Tracker

  • GPS trackers could help curb activities like narco-smuggling and terrorism by monitoring interactions with active terrorists, collecting narco-assignments, or terror funds.
  • GPS trackers as a bail precondition are common in several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Malaysia.


Legal Position and Human Rights Concerns

  • Though the use of GPS anklets on above prisoner was sanctioned by a court, but there are no specific legal provisions allowing this in India.
  • Human rights activists raise concerns about standards, ethics, and privacy. They argue that tracking individuals violates their fundamental right to privacy and cite the right to life and human dignity.
  • Hence, proper informed consent procedures and mechanisms to address unethical and illegal practices are required in cases of electronic monitoring and surveillance.

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