Victoria Police Vehicle Tracking Trials
The Victorian Police are about to embark on a Hi-Tech vehicle tracking trial that has been hailed as the promise of ‘crack down’ on car theft. One thousand cars in Victoria will be hard wired with the device that allows the owners to activate the tracker via a mobile phone, which then alerts police via a call to 000. Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill in his interview with the Herald Sun reporter Wes Hosking stated, ‘using this and other new technologies, could potentially eliminate car theft.’
Is it just me that cringes at this concept? I understand to some degree that the impetus is to assist in the reduction of the consistently high volume of car thefts, but at what cost to the consumers privacy? I honestly feel what we are being sold is just a small slice of the over arching scheme and if I am honest with you, my ‘realist’ view is leaning toward the average Joe being the target here not the criminals.
Assistant Commission Robert Hill uses the words ‘and other technologies.’
Imagine five years from now that a new legislation is passed stipulating that these devices are mandatory for all vehicles. Given that we know (or at least I hope you do) that the laws in Australia hold no true weighting applied toward the conviction and punishment of offenders, what will be ‘recommended’ will be the incorporation of inbuilt cameras so that they can absolutely identify the offending party, and with this an audio activated device should be installed to record any criminal conversations.
All of this will definitely aid in protecting you, ‘Mr J Citizen.’
Then after it’s too late we realize, there are mechanisms that can block GPS signaling by using jammers which prevents the activation of the tracking device. The criminals (smart one’s at least) will wear a mask so the police cannot with absolution identify them, and as for the listening device the criminals can simply choose not to speak. This leaves the perpetrators continuing to do what they have always done without a hitch. The police force is back at square one with a bill to pay for their ‘real time’ $15 million dollar per annum monitoring hub.
But wait, not all is lost if we consider the alternative uses ….
The legislation could then be altered to enforce the tracker be enabled full time (at your cost of course). Mr J Citizen could be monitored for traffic offenses that would issue automatic fines direct to your phone. The argument would be that this would ‘save lives.’ Meanwhile, the need for a labor based traffic enforcement workforce would decrease and the flow of revenue for fines would absolutely sky rocket, exceeding existing annual quotas. Real time monitoring would be an asset to keep us safe from those Mr J Citizen law breakers going less than 10 klm over the speed limit at $198 a pop.
There is still very little known about the effects that all these electronic devices are having on our bodies. Removing your freedom of choice as to whether you want to be exposed to all of this is already long gone, as we are constantly surrounded by a myriad of cell phones, microwaves, airport x-ray scanners, its pretty alarming when you stop to look around your own environment.
What’s even worse is the vulnerability and potential exposure we have imposed on us by information getting collected and stored without our knowledge or consent. Everything available for access online can be manipulated to be used against you. Organized criminal hacking syndicates can easily infiltrate heavily encrypted databases to utilize the information collected. Illegal purposes such as; identity theft, fraud, money laundering, targeted harassment, to name a few are all just a click away. Nothing good can come of it.
“When privacy is criminalized, only criminals will have privacy” ‘Daniel Suarez’
I do believe that the intent for this GPS tracking trial was suggested as an incentive toward catching criminals. I also believe the people in the force who are executing the trials are no doubt 100% keen to close the gap on crime. However, the people who are granting the funds for this trail, endorsing the spend of millions of dollars to reduce ‘car theft’ in my view, have a more lucrative agenda for the application of this device long term.
Watch this space.