American football player Aaron Hernandez was recently arrested on suspicion of murder. Since his arrest, details of this crime have been public news. Without rehashing the entire story here, I do want to explore one aspect, which caught my eye and even stirred a bit of public debate over tracking technology and its place in our daily lives.
Tracking Technology Provides Evidence Against Aaron Hernandez Of the NFL
Hernandez is accused of murdering an acquaintance by the name of Odin Lloyd who was a semi-professional football player for a Boston team. Through records recovered since his death, it’s been discovered that Odin actually sent a text message to his sister to verify that she was aware that he’d left a location with Hernandez who picked him up in a car just after 2:30a. The message, itself, seemed to suggest that the victim sensed danger on the horizon with Hernandez.
In addition to the text message, GPS tracking on Hernandez’s phone places him in the vicinity of where the victim’s body was discovered at the same time that investigators believe he was killed. GPS data from the phone does not make this an open and shut case, but officials did believe the evidence to be enough to add to the suspicion of Hernandez’s involvement in the victim’s death. Since the suspected timeline of events, more information has been released to the public and a number of conversations on social media sites have revolved around the possibilities of GPS technology present in most late generation mobile devices.
What Is GPS?
GPS stands for Global Positioning System. Originally developed by the U.S. Military for tracking operations, GPS has been available for consumer use for just over a decade. With 28 space satellites currently in orbit, the system can pinpoint the exact location of a person or an object in possession of a receiver that communicates with these strategically placed satellites.
Why Would Anyone Need a Separate GPS Device?
In addition to GPS receivers being installed in cars or purchased as peripheral devices to assist drivers with navigation, this technology is also common in mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones. This leads some to question why they would need to purchase an additional device to be used for tracking and personal security. Well, the answer to that is simple, GPS devices created specifically for security can be more effective primarily because of how they are used.
For example, someone using a SecuraTrac SecuraPAL GPS Child Tracking Device for personal security is likely to place the receiver somewhere where it will not be easily detected by a criminal or lost. Doing so, of course, takes into consideration the possibility of abduction or being involved in an event where a cellphone might be lost, stolen or damaged. A SecuraTrac SecuraPAL device is much smaller and may be safely concealed in a pocket or backpack…or even worn on the wrist, and may go undetected by a criminal long enough for a victim to be located. And don’t let the word ‘child’ fool you; this tracking device provides protection to adults and pets, too.
Personal GPS devices also have other safety features, such as:
- The ability to pinpoint a location on demand
- A faster response time in terms of communicating a location via text message or email (no need to go through a mobile carrier in order to have access to such highly time-sensitive and important data)
- Devices like SecuraTrac can even offer directions to a location, which is particularly helpful if someone wearing the receiver is in an unfamiliar area or country
- A panic button to can be depressed at any time a person wearing the device senses that they are in danger (a message detailing their location is then immediately sent by text and by email)
So, while cars and cellphones may be equipped with GPS technology, devices created specifically for personal security are best recommended for those interested in such. More information and a variety of GPS tracking devices can be found on our main page under Child Safety as well as under GPS & Tracking.
Aren’t These Devices Too Intrusive?
A common concern about GPS tracking often relates to privacy concerns. When information about GPS and its use in the Hernandez arrest first broke, several members of Twitter shared that they prefer to keep the GPS on their phones turned off in order to prevent their movements from being traced on a daily basis. Journalist Roland S. Martin, however, offered a different take. Not only does he purposely leave his GPS devices on at all times, but he shared on his Twitter feed that he even goes a step further by using plastic to pay for his purchases at all times just to provide another trail of evidence should his steps ever need to be retraced. According to him, in his line of work, one can never be too cautious.
Join the Conversation
How do you feel about GPS tracking, in general? Has this technology ever been useful to you? Do you have concerns about tracking devices, in general?