Is Using Your Mobile Device for GPS Unsafe?

The era of wireless communication began way back in 1973. The mobile devices of today are equipped with varied technological advancements which offer many services such as emergency-location service improvements, tracking minors, and GPS or Global Positioning System. GPS is a group of 24 U.S. Department of Defense satellites that comes with advanced mobile-tracking technologies. It may however be noted that such technological enhancements can also be misused.

Location Service Advantages and Disadvantages of GPS

There is a key advantage to this service: GPS enabled mobile tracking technology can raise the chances of quickly locating someone. Thus, the location of lost minors who have mobile phones with them can be quickly traced. Runaway teens can be located with the aid of hidden GPS devices.

But there are also distinct disadvantages to this system. GPS location services can correctly track a mobile signal to within a few yards. This can result in invasion of privacy. Also a number of GPS apps store data about your whereabouts in the past, which can be misused in many ways.

Law Enforcement Advantages and Disadvantages of GPS

gps on mobile device

On the plus side, GPS in mobile devices lowers the emergency response time and improves location services. GPS and FCC-enforced PSAPs, or Public Safety Answering Points, have been integrated, which allows an emergency call to be tracked. The call is tracked to the nearest mobile tower, after which the location and mobile number of the caller is automatically sent to a local PSAP.

One of the major disadvantages of GPS use by law enforcement agencies is the plethora of queries associated with it. Such excessive number of inquiries along with the time taken to respond to them can result in undesired delays in getting time-sensitive data during a criminal investigation.

Dangers Associated with Use of Mobile GPS when Driving

Using a mobile device while driving can be very dangerous, and navigating the traffic on a busy road is an arduous task. You have to also take the environmental factors such as rain or snow when making a turn or when driving at all. The use of GPS on mobiles results in loss of concentration and judgment, which can then result in a crash. The use of GPS on your mobile device can also lead to slower reactions and uncontrolled breaking. This may eventually result in you crashing into the vehicle in front of you.

You are also less likely to pay attention to the surroundings when using GPS on your smart phone or PDA, thereby preventing you from safely negotiating through the traffic around you. You may also slowly wander out of the lane and not even know it.

Distraction Caused by Use of GPS on Mobile Device

Driving is quite a challenging and complex task. The use of GPS on your mobile device to check for directions can distract the driver in many ways. There is a physical distraction when you remove the hand from the steering wheel to navigate the GPS directions on your mobile phone or gadget. There is a sense of cognitive distraction, which can result in judgment and attention lapses. Using GPS on your smart phone while driving means that you need to carry out two mental activities at the same time. This leads to dangerous driving and can be the cause of a fatal accident. In addition, visual distraction happens if you need to take time off from the road to check out GPS on your mobile device.

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About the Author: Shameem

I am Shameem, Software Engineer, Web Addicted, Living in Chennai, India.


  1. Shameem,

    It is my first day on your blog, and now I’m hitting myself why I haven’t find it earlier…..Anyway this article is not only well-written but also well-researched…..I love each corner of it….You are right bro….GPS has its own pros and cons…so it always better to keep it safe, otherwise it might get us into serious trouble…..

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