Consider the following questions: a. Your rental car has a GPS installed. After you return it, the rental company uses the GPS data to determine whether you have driven the car at speeds above the speed limit. It then issues fines for violations of the rental contract. Does this lead to safer highways? Is it an infringement of your privacy? b. Would you agree to insert a GPS-enabled tracking chip into your pet? Your child? What legislation do you think should be required regarding use of the tracking data from your phone records? Would you be willing to sell that information to marketing agencies? Should that data be available to the government if you were suspected of a crime?
GPS tracking devices have become more and more common, and their uses more and more varied. However, I think rental companies are making a change for the better with the practice of determining speed limits and whether you are going over them. No, it's not their job to be the police, but when you are driving their car you are representing their company. Much like the trucking company JB Hunt got a bad name from its truck drivers and employees, rental companies get bad names from their clients. If they bill the driver, however, for going over the speed limit, they may look like the bad guys or stalkers. But, in actuality, you GAVE them permission to do so when you signed the contract. You cannot pretend you did not know about this rule or complain about a privacy violation because of it, as your legal signature states that you agreed to it. This leads to somewhat-safer highways, as people are more likely to be going at a speed that has been decided safe by the DMV and traffic authorities if they will later have to pay for going over.
However, there are limits. I do not believe in chipping children unless it is necessary and falls under the following reasons: the child has a mental illness and may wander off because they don't understand why they should not, the child has a tendency to run away from home, or the child has an extreme medical condition and needs to be able to be found in case of a believed medical emergency (Such as a diabetic child collapsing from low sugar, for example.).
Chipping pets, on the other hand, is something that I believe should be made law. My own dog is microchipped and was when I got her. If the animal routinely goes outside, particularly if unsupervised, or if the owner travels a lot, a microchip should be mandatory. Especially for dogs, since they are more prone to range farther than other animals.
I do not believe anyone should be able to track your phone records, except in the case of police investigations. Phone companies should not be allowed to sell your number or information to marketing and advertising agencies; this is a violation of privacy as honestly, telemarketers waste too much of our time and really should be put out of business. (I will write a blog later on the best ploys to get rid of them. Thank you for the epic idea.).
In short: Kids, sometimes. Pets, yes. Cars, yes. Selling my info to marketing, absolutely not.