The real-time reporting of this device has some huge advantages over devices that simply record their path. It's far more effective, for instance, to phone your teen at the forbidden party than to learn a few days later that he'd been there. That's even more true for tracking your straying dog, obviously; I want to know where he is more than where he's been.
@Beth: You are correct when you state that your teen may simply unclip the device and toss it, but I bet that if they do that then the consequences would be worse than if you found out that they went somewhere that they shouldn't.
However, I am sure that whoever decides to use one of these would research where and how to hide one of these.
There are already apps that allow you to track someone by their cell phones so having a smaller dedicated unit isn't likely to be that big of a deal.
Also, they have had this for a while in the form of an OBDII device that will log and then later plot where a vehcle has gone. One such device is located at vehicle-tracking-gps.com .
Thats why you give your teenager/car 2 devices. The car thief finds one, attaches it to a donkey or horse (has been known to happen here), and carries on fat dumb and happy, while you track the second device.
Here insurance companies mandate tracking devices in luxury vehicles, but will not release tracking data without police consent. In one publicized case, this policy delayed the rescue of a driver who went off the road at night by several hours, and gave the tracking company a lot of bad publicity.
While I can complete understand the utility of having a device that lets me keep tabs on my teenager or some sort of personal property, in some ways it does seem a bit extreme. How far should we go in terms of tracking people and property and how effective can this really be? Can't my teenager just unclip the device or leave it somewhere to throw me off track or am I just watching too much CSI and other crime shows?
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