3 Main Issues of Monitoring and Tracking People

May 11, 2022

Privacy, Tracking for-profit, and Breaking trust

In the last two decades, we are witnessing smart connectivity devices ascension, the most prominent among them being smartphones. While technological development and digitalization connected the world, it presents many challenges. One of them is also remote monitoring and locating of people.

To put it mildly, monitoring people with GPS trackers is a hot issue with no clear-cut answers, no matter whether it speaking of elderly, children, or even prisoners tracking. With estimates that self-monitoring technologies for health alone will reach gross revenues of 71,9 billion dollars in 2022, we want to point out three main problems! These are the most common issues that we should be aware of, especially in the case of children's GPS tracking:

  • Privacy issues
  • Tracking for profit
  • Breaking trust

Privacy issues

The first thing to consider as technology can be simply bad. It can allow unauthorized access to the data gathered by devices (location and health). One of the things to consider is what type of security protocols are used and if they are aligned with governmental standards. That would minimize the risk of data leaks or actual abuse by manufacturers.

Tracking for profit

As many companies are trying to establish themselves in the field and business models are forming, we should be careful our information is not abused. Some companies might earn their revenues by selling private data, in the best case to advertisers. This applies to ALL mobile phone applications that gather location data and not only GPS trackers.

Breaking trust

This is the most important non-technological issue to consider. Social scientists have shown that trust is essential to close relationships (Trust and satisfaction in adult child-mother (and other) relationships), including proper parent-to-child relationships. There are better and really bad ways to use GPS trackers and there is a thin line between safety and harassment of tracked persons. A 2019 study shows monitoring a child can undermine the sense of trust and bonding. In fact, it can become counterproductive (A literature review evaluating parental tendencies in prior adolescent substance users) to the point of pushing the child further towards rebellion. We suggest honestly talking to children and minimally using tracking, if at all, for teenagers. In most cases proper communication about the intention and setting up the rules will suffice! 

More about source studies here:

Trust and satisfaction in adult child-mother (and other relationships)

A literature review evaluating parental tendencies in prior adolescent substance users

Dive into more of our articles:

How to monitor your kid with a GPS tracker the right way?

What do people say about parents tracking their children?

Timid or Assertive Kid? Can a GPS Tracker Help (OR NOT)?

Expert psychologist's opinion on child tracking

How to choose the best kids tracker for you

Tracking your kids? Are only bad parents doing it?

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