Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Law

Tracking people: controversies and challenges

October 2016 - September 2017

This unique and innovative cross-disciplinary network has been established to examine the use of tracking devices (non-removable wearable devices that enable location monitoring or tracking of wearers by third parties) in a variety of settings and across jurisdictions. The network brings together for the first time academics, policy-makers, designers and practitioners from different domains to explore the ethical, legal, social and technical issues arising from the current and future use of wearable tagging and tracking devices.

The network aims to foster new empirical, conceptual, theoretical and practical insights into the use of tracking devices which are being used increasingly in multiple domains including with offenders, mental health patients, dementia patients, young people in care, immigrants and suspected terrorists. In most of these settings their use is controversial and has resulted in significant academic and public debate. Some of the benefits attributed to tracking devices include: cost savings; improved personal and public safety and compliance; and reassurance for the wearer and/or their significant others. Critical concerns centre on privacy; ethics; data protection; efficiency; effectiveness; the efficacy and suitability of the equipment design; the involvement of the private sector as providers and operators; and the potential for discriminatory use. 

The network welcomes participation by anyone with an interest in the use of wearable tracking devices including academics, postgraduate and early career researchers, policy makers, practitioners, engineers, produce designers and providers from across Europe. To join the network please e mail trackingpeople@leeds.ac.uk.


twitter: @TrackingLeeds

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