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Flashermac

GPS tracking is Big Brother

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In his efforts to tackle the country's notorious road slaughter, Transport Minister Saksayam Chidchob has come up with a "Big Brother" touch. For the sake of safer roads, he has proposed that Global Positioning System (GPS) trackers be installed in all privately owned vehicles to monitor drivers and punish those violating speed limits and other traffic laws.

This is a poorly thought-out proposal. If enforced, it would be an outright violation of individuals' right to privacy and confidentiality, amounting to state surveillance of citizens.

On Monday, the minister said he had given the Department of Land Transport (DLT) one year to look into the possibility of installing GPS in private cars and motorbikes. If the policy is adopted after the study, Thailand would be the first country to introduce such a measure, he said. And he is right. Thailand would be the first and probably the only country to let authorities keep tabs on individuals' movements without a court warrant.

The minister seems to have mainly focused on the need to monitor speeds, without taking into account another dimension, which is location. If this idea becomes policy, authorities could spy on the whereabouts of all car owners at all times from the moment they leave their house right up until when they arrive at their destination.
 
Additionally, allowing authorities to obtain information on individuals' whereabouts could lead to misuse. Information could be leaked, or used by other state agencies which, for instance, yearn to keep a close watch on dissidents.

In making his case, the minister cited the country's current use of GPS trackers in public transport vehicles. But he misses the point. Tracking speeds and locations of buses and vans is allowed since they are public transport service providers. It is a measure to ensure the efficiency and safety of public transport for consumers.

On the technical side, the proposed policy would simply not be practical. Currently, there are about 40 million cars and motorbikes registered with the DLT. How could authorities possibly keep track of all of them? In the end, enforcement will likely be done on a random and discriminatory basis.

Even if trackers are installed on newly purchased cars as the minister has proposed, the vast number of new vehicles registered each year makes the task impossible. It is also unfair to monitor new cars and let drivers of old cars get away with traffic violations.

Even if all cars are installed with GPS trackers, those who want to violate the law could still disable the devices.

Mr Saksayam undoubtedly has good intentions in tackling the country's road carnage, but the GPS solution he is proposing is not practical.

He should not forget about the cameras already installed on many roads to monitor traffic law violators. Those cameras do help track down lawbreakers, but the road accident rate remains high as speed is not the only culprit. Thailand's road carnage is also caused by bad driving, disobeying traffic laws, weak law enforcement, poor road conditions and drink driving.

So the minister needs to start with ensuring that traffic laws are strictly, effectively and thoroughly enforced. He needs to ensure that proper driving lessons are given to people applying for driving licences. Raising awareness about safe and good driving behaviour is also important and it can start with students in schools.

There are so many tasks for Mr Saksayam to pursue, and none of them should involve spying on citizens' whereabouts.

 

https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/1777939/gps-tracking-is-big-brother?fbclid=IwAR0HiaeWSWIgcqsdRqOz54IzcqmozYhwlG4LpoVMGKrNrX3wQrKENzXMUo0#cxrecs_s

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"Raising awareness about safe and good driving behaviour is also important and it can start with students in schools."

To the best of my knowledge, there are no driver training classes in Thai secondary schools. It was a required subject when I was in high school, and we learned about the traffic laws, stopping speeds, how an internal combustion engine works etc. Most of us also signed up for hands-on driving training, in which we drove a dual control car on the California freeways, under a qualified teacher's supervision. Maybe it's time that Thailand began such classes, at least in the city schools?

p.s. My wife nowadays is a very good driver, but I remember how she was issued a license before she knew how to drive ... simply because she was a civil servants and therefore someone "special".  :huh:

 

 

 

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My suburb in Laos has a large building attached to a police college, that exists to house the myriad of folk, who monitor the sketchy network of CCTV in Vientiane. I can't imagine how they'd cope with modern tech like GPS and computers from the 21st century....

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10 hours ago, Flashermac said:

"Raising awareness about safe and good driving behaviour is also important and it can start with students in schools."

To the best of my knowledge, there are no driver training classes in Thai secondary schools. It was a required subject when I was in high school, and we learned about the traffic laws, stopping speeds, how an internal combustion engine works etc. Most of us also signed up for hands-on driving training, in which we drove a dual control car on the California freeways, under a qualified teacher's supervision. Maybe it's time that Thailand began such classes, at least in the city schools?

p.s. My wife nowadays is a very good driver, but I remember how she was issued a license before she knew how to drive ... simply because she was a civil servants and therefore someone "special".  :huh:

 

 

 

Yes, driver education for the young people in school and get the police to enforce the existing traffic laws!

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It might be my lack of knowledge in these things but it all seems a bit of an odd idea. The GPS unit in my car tells ME where I am. It has no ability to tell anyone else where I am. It receives signals from the constellation of various satellites orbiting planet earth that provide location data to ME. Provision of that information to another person would require another network, or system of some sort. In the sense of suggesting it can be done with simply adding a GPS receiver to a vehicle then these are the words of a buffoon in my opinion.

Admittedly my phone can provide such by virtue of its inherent 2 way nature. This might be a possible 5G application but it will need infrastructure and devices compatible with the whole process. My guess is pretty firmly in the "not gonna happen" category.

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You are correct about the GPS unit in the car, but I would imagine that the majority of Somchai Taxi drivers use the maps app, in their phones to get around. Ergo, the phone's cell tower pinging, could be monitored, even though the phone is being used as a GPS, upskirt camera, heart monitor, etc....

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On 10/23/2019 at 10:28 AM, Flashermac said:

"Raising awareness about safe and good driving behaviour is also important and it can start with students in schools."

To the best of my knowledge, there are no driver training classes in Thai secondary schools. It was a required subject when I was in high school, and we learned about the traffic laws, stopping speeds, how an internal combustion engine works etc. Most of us also signed up for hands-on driving training, in which we drove a dual control car on the California freeways, under a qualified teacher's supervision. Maybe it's time that Thailand began such classes, at least in the city schools?

p.s. My wife nowadays is a very good driver, but I remember how she was issued a license before she knew how to drive ... simply because she was a civil servants and therefore someone "special".  :huh:

 

 

 

Flash,

Those days are long gone from USA high schools. The victim of education cost cutting over the years.

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I couldn't believe it when I found out that in many states high school kids only have to take one year of P.E. No wonder the military says that only 29% of todays young folks are physically fit to serve in the military.  And now you say they can't even drive anymore.  :(

 

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I saw a young man the other day with legs like string, obviously never done more exercise than walking from an Uber to a lift.

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2 hours ago, Coss said:

I saw a young man the other day with legs like string, obviously never done more exercise than walking from an Uber to a lift.

At least he has legs. :_pumpkin:

review_jabba_1.jpg

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