As great as the benefits of using GPS are, the technology can be misused quickly. This is the case when people are secretly monitored in a private or business environment. You want to know where your partner is when he is not at home or what the employee is doing during his break. This secret surveillance is prohibited, and anyone who locates people without their knowledge and consent violates applicable personal rights such as the Federal Data Protection Act and is therefore committing an administrative offense or even a criminal offense.

GPS localization is possible anytime and anywhere

Modern technology offers the possibility of keeping an eye on certain objects but also on people, always and everywhere. Permanent monitoring can bring many advantages, especially in operational areas: more overview, better planning, easier coordination, faster reaction, fewer expenses, etc. However, this is mainly the case regarding vehicles or objects. People may and should only be monitored in rare cases, for example, regarding their safety at work. Otherwise, locating people without consent is prohibited and can have various consequences.

GPS location via vehicle or mobile phone

Localization with GPS is possible either via a vehicle or a mobile phone. You can quickly attach a tracking device to a vehicle and check the exact location at any time. This is particularly useful in companies with a large fleet of vehicles, as it makes working with many vehicles daily much easier. In this case, however, no personal movement data may be collected. This violates local privacy policies. In addition, employees must be informed when the vehicle they are traveling in is being tracked and have consented to this.

Localization with the help of GPS in the vehicle offers several advantages. In this way, all the information collected is stored for some time and can therefore be traced later. In addition, this type is associated with other options that can provide essential help in everyday work.

In addition to vehicles, you can easily locate mobile phones with GPS to find out where a specific person is. On the one hand, these can be those of the employees; on the other hand, they can also be the cell phones of loved ones. The private collection of such coordinates is also not permitted. Since an administrative offense is committed with the involuntary cell phone location or track, the behavior threatens a fine.

GPS monitoring helps to control its employees

As already mentioned, monitoring your employees with GPS during or even after working hours is not legal without their knowledge and consent. If company vehicles or mobile phones can be located, this information should not be used to connect directly to the employees. What they do during their break or after work are a private matter and nobody’s business. If the boss carries out hidden employee monitoring contrary to the applicable laws, there may be a report and corresponding penalties. If you are unsure – on the part of the boss or the employee – you should contact your data protection officer and get advice from them.

Spy on your partner

However, not only at work but also in private life, there can be secret surveillance through GPS. This often takes place in or after romantic relationships. People particularly like to spy on their (ex-)partner. This well-known scenario is also known in film and television. However, creating a human movement profile against his will is a criminal act.

Nevertheless, private detectives use GPS, again and again, to provide their clients with targeted, reliable information. Customers are usually betrayed or abandoned partners. However, this data collection is just as forbidden for them as for private individuals.

Possible penalties for misuse as a result

The unlawful use of GPS may result in criminal consequences. If an administrative offense is committed, usually only a fine is imposed. A violation of the applicable Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG), on the other hand, can even result in a prison sentence of several months or years. Sometimes the sentence is only imposed on probation.

If monitoring with GPS covers other areas of life and a person is stalked, the penalties can be correspondingly higher. This is by no means a trivial offense.

No abuse of GPS

Overall, when using GPS technology, you should know what you can do with it and what you cannot. The use itself is not punishable, but the handling must be regulated precisely so one moves in the legal territory. This protects you from possible fines or even harsher penalties if you violate the Data Protection Act.

What can you do when someone tracks you

It seems that GPS tracking is unavoidable. If you are being tracked, you shouldn’t think you can’t do anything in return. The GPS jammer can help you to get rid of them.

GPS jammers work by blocking the GPS signal within a certain radius, which can be a few meters or even several kilometers. GPS navigators and geolocation applications will be disabled if a jammer is active within an area. That means the GPS signal will no longer be able to reach your smartphone or car, so that you will disappear from their surveillant eye. 

But you should note that when you eliminate the GPS signals, all services, like the navigation system in your car, will not work too. Keep this concept in mind and consider it before you use a jammer.

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