More from: GPS Tracking

Tracking Fleet Vehicles & Stealth Surveillance

The Spark Nano 3.0 is one of the most popular GPS tracking devices on the market. It’s used by individuals for a variety of purposes as well as companies wanting to track fleet vehicles. Some companies are small businesses with just one or two cars, while others are large companies with an entire fleet of trucks and sales vehicles.

GPS tracking can be an important tool for managing company fleets in that it helps improve efficiency, lower vehicle costs, and deal with employees who might be using company vehicles inappropriately. At the same time, monitoring fleets this way does raise some concerns that have not yet been addressed in a court of law.

Critics of GPS vehicle tracking claim that utilizing devices like the Spark Nano are a violation of worker privacy. They believe workers should be trusted unless they give sufficient reason otherwise. Proponents of GPS tracking claim that it’s no different than a shop manager observing workers on the floor. The manager who does his job correctly is constantly monitoring what employees are doing, how hard they’re working, and how they are using company equipment.

Tracking Fleet Vehicles

Openness Is the Best Policy

Because of GPS tracking enters a whole new realm of law that hasn’t been adequately addressed, it’s best for companies to be open with their employees about GPS tracking unless stealth surveillance is needed for very specific purpose. In other words, when you first install the tracking system inform all of your workers who use company vehicles of your plans. For new workers, inform them during the interview process that your vehicles are tracked. If that bothers the candidate, that’s the perfect time to decline a job offer.

There’s an added benefit of informing your drivers about the presence of the Spark Nano or other tracking device. That benefit comes by way of an incentive for each worker to be responsible. If the point of tracking is to prevent excessive speed, reckless driving, or wasting time, there doesn’t even need to be one instance if a worker is informed ahead of time his behavior is being monitored. Stealth surveillance may provide you the evidence to confront an employee acting improperly, but it does nothing to change the fact that inappropriate behavior was engaged in.

When Stealth Is Necessary

Certainly there are times when stealth surveillance is necessary. For example, if you suspect your company vehicles are being used in the commission of a crime, it’s more desirable to have evidence needed for arrest and conviction rather than simply trying to persuade the worker to cease and desist. Similarly you may require a certain amount of evidence in order to terminate the employee who is violating company policy. In either case you might need to use a tracking device without informing workers.

The point of all of this is that GPS vehicle tracking is still fairly new in the US marketplace. If you’re planning to utilize it, ward off any potential future litigation by being upfront whenever possible.

Protecting Mom and Dad with a Spark Nano

There are lots of great uses for the Spark Nano 3.0 GPS tracking device, uses that help provide a certain measure of peace of mind to users. Often we hear of these devices being used to track the movement of teenagers, and their driving habits as well, or to find out whether or not a spouse is misbehaving. But more and more GPS trackers are also being used to protect our aging parents.

We’ve all read newspaper stories of older people going missing without any reasonable explanation other than the fact that the victim may be suffering some sort of dementia or amnesia. Oftentimes these stories are accompanied by pleas for help from the general public in finding a lost person. If the victim requires medication or other medical treatments on a regular basis finding them becomes much more important. That’s where the Spark Nano can really come in handy.

Spark Nano 3.0 GPS Tracker

Spark Nano 3.0 GPS Tracker

The Spark Nano can keep you informed of its whereabouts all over the country, 24 hours a day. Installing one on your elderly parent’s car or asking him to carry it on his person is a great way to assure him that you’re watching out for his safety. If your elderly parent gets lost while out walking or driving, one push of the panic button sends an e-mail or text alert to you instantly. Or, if your parent fails to show up somewhere at a predetermined point of time, you’ll know enough to find out his whereabouts using the tracking device.

A Medical Lifesaver

A medical alert system is something we use in conjunction with home alarms to protect our loved ones in the event of a medical emergency. Yet those systems seldom work outside the confines of a home. Why not offer the same sort of security using Spark Nano? The GPS tracking device means your loved ones are never out of contact whether going to the park, enjoying an afternoon fishing, heading out shopping, or just going for a stroll through the neighborhood.

In case of any medical emergency all individual needs to do is hit the device’s panic button. It couldn’t be any simpler than that. And at less than $30 a month it’s protection most of us can easily afford.

It’s a Positive, Not Negative

If you plan to purchase a Spark Nano for your elderly parent, be sure to present it as a positive rather than negative. It’s easy for parents to become defensive because of the perception that they are no longer trusted. Explain to your parent it’s not a matter of trust, it’s a matter of being able to respond anytime there’s potential trouble. It’s like having your own personal assistant always there to help. Framed in those terms you’re a lot likely to get a supportive reaction.

Hopefully you’ll never have occasion to take advantage of the protections offered by the Spark Nano 3.0. But you’ll be glad they are available if they ever become necessary.

Is Private GPS Tracking Legal?

In November of last year the U.S. Supreme Court was hearing a case having to do with the legality of GPS tracking for police investigations.

At the heart of the case was a lower court ruling that threw out the conviction of a suspected drug dealer because the FBI did not obtain a warrant before installing a GPS tracking device on the suspect’s car. The Supreme Court’s eventual ruling on the case was very narrow, dealing only with certain types of police actions.

That leads us to ask whether or not private GPS tracking is legal. In other words, can you track your spouse if you suspect he or she is cheating on you? Can you track the movements of your children without informing them you’re doing so?

A General Summary

Though state laws do vary there are some generalities which apply across the board. Before we list them here however, it’s important to say that you should always check with your state before using a GPS tracking device like the Spark Nano 3.0. As long as you know and follow the law you’ll have nothing to worry about. That said, it’s generally acceptable to use GPS tracking as an individual citizen if:

  • you own the vehicle or piece of equipment being tracked
  • you can install the device on the outside of a vehicle or piece of equipment you don’t own
  • the vehicle or piece of equipment is clearly in the public view
  • the vehicle or piece of equipment is not located on private property belonging to someone else
  • information you obtain from the device could also be obtained by physical surveillance

In most cases you cannot legally use a tracking device if you must open the vehicle or equipment to install it, connect the device directly to an existing electrical system, or enter an area where the subject of your tracking is legally allowed to expect privacy. That means you can’t break into a car, break into someone’s private garage, or hardwire a GPS device to a car battery.

Family Use

It’s generally understood by the courts that there is no right to privacy among family members living in the same household. Therefore, it’s completely legal to use a GPS tracker to monitor the whereabouts of your children, keep track of their driving habits when they get their licenses, and conduct surveillance on a spouse. Whether or not it’s wise to do such things is the domain of the individual GPS owner. But it can be done legally nonetheless.

When it comes to your own vehicle you are protected by the law as well. You have every right to install a device like the Spark Nano 3.0 regardless of who might drive your car in the future. And you don’t have to warn other drivers about it. Whether you want to monitor how fast and safely the car is being driven, or give yourself some measure of protection against theft, your car is yours to do with as you please.