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The Age are reporting: How your GPS can dob you in
TRAVELLING without a GPS has become unthinkable for many drivers, including the criminal fraternity, it would seem. Police are now finding the devices a valuable aid to implicating their owners in crimes, because forensics experts can extract information about a suspect's whereabouts from them.
Scotland Yard analysis of the devices has helped solve dozens of investigations into kidnappings, grooming of children, murder and terrorism. Information about a suspect's whereabouts at particular times, their journeys and addresses of associates can all be discovered - if they have been using a GPS. The devices retain hundreds of records of locations and routes in their memory.
With more than 30 million of them in use in Britain - some in mobile phones - police expect the data to become an increasingly important forensic tool. But the use alarms privacy campaigners, who fear the data could also be used to trap people who commit minor crimes such as speeding.
Mark Stokes, the head of the digital systems department at Scotland Yard, said such devices were often seized at arrests. "The GPS can be used with other evidence to place a person at a crime scene at a particular time," he said.
An Automobile Association spokesman said: "We don't see anything too sinister with police using these techniques to solve serious crimes."