Tagging Along with the Bad Guys

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A ride-along is one thing, but how would you feel if you could ride shotgun for extended periods of time in a hardened criminal’s – ahem…make that “suspect’s” – set of wheels?

Well, this is essentially what cops can now do, albeit from the safety of their desks.

That’s right, technology triumphs and beats the bad guys again!

While sitting in front of their computers, law enforcement officials can track down the exact location of a suspect. They do this through a GPS, or Global Positioning System, that they stealthily install in unsuspecting suspects’ cars.

This concept has even been tagged by some as “an invisible police officer inside your car.”

And while this is super-convenient for those whose job it is to chase law-breakers, it has called into question the ethical ramifications of the concept as a whole.

For instance, how would you feel if you knew a cop were tracking your every move 24×7 in real time – from the local diner to an inconspicuous motel? But then again, it may not bother you, especially if you aren’t suspected of armed robbery or sexual battery.

While the ethical aspects of the case are highly subjective and the discussion has to be left open-ended, in my mind it basically boils down to a matter of nonessential privacy versus communal safety.

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Deanna Hartley

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