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GPS Tracker Anklets Monitoring Legal Supervision


Recently, a prisoner in Jammu and Kashmir was released on bail after he was tagged with a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracker anklet on his foot to monitor his movements. This is the first time in the country that a GPS tracker has been put to such use.


GS III: Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. GPS Tracker Anklets: Monitoring Legal Supervision
  2. Global Positioning System (GPS)

GPS Tracker Anklets: Monitoring Legal Supervision

  • Wearable Devices: Small devices attached to the ankles of individuals under legal supervision (parole, probation, house arrest, or bail).
  • Types: GPS anklets for the ankle and GPS bracelets for the arm.
  • Tamper-Proof: Designed to be tamper-proof; any attempt to remove or damage triggers an alarm.
  • Battery Life: Several days of battery life; rechargeable by the wearer.
Supervision and Enforcement
  • Curfews and Restrictions: Enforce curfews, travel restrictions, and other court or agency-imposed conditions.
  • Real-time Monitoring: Utilizes GPS technology for real-time monitoring of the wearer’s exact location.
Criminal Justice Benefits
  • Cost Alleviation: Alleviates criminal justice costs by addressing prison overcrowding and redirecting resources to serious offenses.
  • Public Safety and Rehabilitation: Balances public safety and rehabilitation, deterring crime, ensuring law compliance, and fostering offender well-being.
Global Legal Position
  • Precondition for Bail: GPS trackers are a precondition for bail in several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Malaysia.
Concerns in India
  • Rights Activists’ Perspective: Viewed as a violation of the fundamental right to privacy and dignity of offenders by rights activists.
  • Supreme Court Ruling: In the case of ‘Maneka Gandhi vs Union of India’ (1978), the Supreme Court ruled that the right to life includes the right to human dignity.
  • Legal and Ethical Issues: Raises legal and ethical concerns due to the absence of clear laws and regulations governing their usage in India.

Global Positioning System (GPS)

Satellite Navigation Technology: GPS, a satellite-powered navigation system, is designed for the accurate determination of ground positions.

Ownership and Service Offerings
  • Owned by the United States: The system is under the ownership of the United States government.
  • Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Services: Users benefit from Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) services provided by GPS.
User Demographics
  • Utilized by Civilians and the Military: GPS serves both civilian and military users.
  • Global Civilian Access: Civilian users enjoy free and continuous global access to GPS services.
  • Exclusive Military Access: Military services are available to the US and allied armed forces, along with approved Government agencies.
Operational Mechanism

Satellite-Based Navigation System:

  • GPS operates as a navigation system based on a network of satellites.
Primary Objective

Precision in Ground Positioning:

  • The primary purpose of GPS is to provide accurate ground positioning for various applications.
Global Availability

Continuous Accessibility Worldwide:

  • Civilian users can access GPS services continuously on a worldwide basis.
Military Implementation

Dedicated Military Service:

  • Exclusive GPS services cater to the navigation needs of the US and allied armed forces, as well as approved Government agencies.

-Source: Indian Express

December 2023