by Christopher Lindquist

Tracking Technologies: The Glue Gun and Other Sticky Stories

May 15, 20062 mins
IT Strategy

Tracking technology is getting cheaper and easier to implement every day. As a result, separating truth from science fiction is getting more difficult. See if you can tell which of these stories are the real deal and which are gags. Answers below.

1) Suspicious wives and girlfriends in Korea can use GPS-enabled cell phones to keep a watchful eye on their husbands and boyfriends. And to avoid being caught at the local bar rather than at the office, our source in the cell phone industry says, some of these men have begun paying people to carry their phones to less risky places during their after-work carousing. “The bar? No, sweetie! I’m still at the office! See?”

2) Tiny, wealthy Manalapan, Fla., has installed infrared security cameras that record every car that drives through town while software checks the plate numbers against law enforcement databases. “Courts have ruled that in a public area, you have no expectation of privacy,” said police Chief Clay Walker.

3) To avoid being tracked by a state-mandated GPS system, a Massachusetts snowplow operator allegedly left his GPS device in a paper bag by the side of the road while he ran off to work a private job. Another time, he reportedly handed his transmitter to a fellow snowplow operator. While the second driver followed the state-assigned route, the first pursued side jobs yet again.

4) In order to cut down on the number of dangerous, high-speed chases, Los Angeles police officers are testing a “glue gun” that can fire a sticky GPS transmitter at a fleeing vehicle. That way, the officers can track the suspect’s vehicle without chasing it and putting lives at risk. (There’s been no word yet on whether sales of Goo-Off adhesive remover have increased in high-crime areas.)

5) Security camera network operator has asked its employees to get RFID chips implanted in their arms to facilitate entry into the company’s secure data centers. CityWatcher CEO Sean Darks says that the program is voluntary, and employees can easily have the chip removed if they desire. “The joke here is that we make them leave their arm,” he says. Ha, ha. Ouch.

Answer: All these stories are straight from the news. It’s not paranoia if it’s true.