Latest in Gear

Image credit: AP Photo/Sang Tan

UK will track thousands of criminals with GPS tags

They could reduce prison time, but there are ethics questions.
382 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

AP Photo/Sang Tan

It's not a novel idea to make criminals wear GPS bracelets, but they could soon be relatively commonplace in the UK. The country's government plans to use them for around-the-clock monitoring of criminals across England and Wales by the summer, with a handful of regions already putting them to use. They'll be used to both track behavior when out of prison (say, to ensure offenders attend rehab) and enforce geographic limits like restraining orders.

The government estimated that roughly 4,000 people will receive GPS tags each year, but no more than 1,000 people will wear tags at any given time.

As with earlier uses, there are ethical advantages and drawbacks. This could avoid or reduce prison sentences for minor offenses, and more effectively monitor serious criminals when allowed to reenter society. The current electronic tags can indicate if a wearer is present at a given building, but it's not much use outside of those narrow conditions. However, it still amounts to 24/7 location tracking for people who, in some cases, committed only non-violent crimes. While convicts aren't about to earn much sympathy, there's little doubt that they're losing a lot of privacy.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
382 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

T-Mobile, Sprint merger could close by April 1st

T-Mobile, Sprint merger could close by April 1st

View
Windows 10 icons are getting an overdue redesign

Windows 10 icons are getting an overdue redesign

View
Hasbro's flurry of 'The Mandalorian' toys includes an animatronic Baby Yoda

Hasbro's flurry of 'The Mandalorian' toys includes an animatronic Baby Yoda

View
'Westworld' season 3 trailer sets the stage for an AI battle

'Westworld' season 3 trailer sets the stage for an AI battle

View
HBO and HBO Max are coming to YouTube TV

HBO and HBO Max are coming to YouTube TV

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr