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.