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GPS Tracking Illegal

GPS Tracking Systems Used by Kentucky Authorities

Is Tracking Someone With A GPS Illegal?

Over the last 2 fiscal years the CKADTF (Central Kentucky Area Drug Task Force) has invested almost $20,000 into tracking system technology that utilizes GPS to accurately pinpoint and record a vehicle’s position, among other data the agency views as critical to solving crimes. The tax dollars being allocated by the drug force is not what is stirring up controversy, but rather that the drug force is using the car tracking technology on suspect’s vehicles without acquiring a warrant.

GPS tracking laws have made headlines over the past year with Wisconsin and New York both passing different rulings on the issue of law enforcement using GPS tracking technology without warrants. When Rick Johnson, the task force director, was questioned about using GPS tracking devices to monitor people he simply stated that the agency does not engage in any illegal activities, and if GPS tracking were illegal that the agency would not be doing it. When asked whether the drug force equips vehicles with tracking devices without obtaining warrants, Johnson declined to provide any statement and reiterated that the drug force always follows the law. Currently, GPS tracking laws vary by state with many states not having legislation on the issue.

Police GPS Tracking Without Warrant

Unfortunately, at this point in time Kentucky does not have clear legislation on the topic of GPS tracking devices being used by law enforcement authorities without a warrant. However, as long as the tracking systems are installed or placed on the vehicle while it is parked on public roadways than there is no invasion of privacy. Placing tracker on a vehicle while it is parked on private property would create a much more problematic situation and wouldn’t be considered a violation of constitutional rights.

What People Are Saying About GPS Tracking

Although what the drug task force in Kentucky is doing with vehicle tracking units is not considered illegal, many people feel that the law enforcement agency is conducting themselves in an unethical way. Below are some comments people have posted about law enforcement installing trackers on vehicles without warrants.

“If police are not given the proper funding to fight crime then technology will have to take the place of limited police personnel. I may not agree with all the actions and decisions the police have to make, but would rather have them make the tough decisions, using tracking systems to catch drug dealers then have more criminals running on the streets my daughter plays on.”

“When police begin thinking they do not have to acquire a warrant to monitor the public than we have no law. GPS tracking devices should be used ONLY when authorities have obtained a warrant and provide sufficient evidence to use the tracking systems.”

Should police be allowed to continue the practice of using GPS tracking system technology without warrants when the situation is called for?

Is there any situation that would be appropriate for authorities to use GPS tracking systems on the public without a warrant?