1 Feb 2010

GPS tracking: An invasion of right to privacy?

Human rights activitists cry hoarse for invasions of privacy but what actually privacy is, is indeterminate; is it the human space as we call it or it is an unwarranted invasion in the private life of a person? The debate is, nonetheless, subjective. Such is the nature of these privacy rights that the courts are content to declare specific instances as to ascertain whether such instances invade privacy. A general enunciation, however, eludes both the law-makers and the law-interpreters. 

Despite such odds, there is no doubt that the ambit of privacy rights is wide and can be extended to enumerate a vast variety of aspect of human life requiring a forbearing from others. A similar attempt has been made by a Law Profession in his paper recently published on SSRN entitled Privacy Revisited – GPS Tracking as Search and Seizure wherein he has sought to argue that even tracking a person through a GPS device is invasion of privacy. Even though the article is based in the context of the American legal system, the author passionately argues to conclude that the "degree and magnitude of GPS surveillance involves such a massive invasion of privacy that a judicial warrant is required for its use". The author also relies upon a a recent decision of the US Court of Appeal in support of his stand and calls for for a declaration of law to such end. In all, the paper provides an interesting insight into the meaning and extent of the right to privacy assigned by the US courts. 

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