OFFICIAL SECURITY BLOG
September 20, 2013 | BY Jean Taggart
Previously, when I blogged about the Tile, I examined the potential for abuse due mainly to the incredibly low price of this device.
However, I am now seeing the barrier to entry lowered for a full-fledged GPS tracking device.
As I noted, the price, the battery life, and the bulkiness were deterrents as the commercial equivalents were still in the $300 to $400 range (quite big) and had a limited battery life, in the best case scenarios.
Well, soon we’ll be able to purchase the I’m here.
This device has a SIM card, very much like a phone, so it doesn’t have to rely on a crowd sourced detection mechanism. It also has significantly improved battery life, at a 48 to 72 hours on stand-by mode. You can see the complete spec sheet here.
The price has dropped somewhat for a “real” GPS, coming in at just over $200.
Their promotional video shows a busy single mom, using the device to track down her hiding son, but the same concerns as the Tile from TheTileapp remain.
Like any tracking device, there’s potential for abuse. Although significantly more expensive, the I’m here GPS tracker is tiny, making it easy to conceal.
The status of the device and GPS co-ordinates can be accessed via a cloud service, something else I hope is adequately secured.
We have seen the legal issues concerning the use of GPS tracking devices by law enforcement, and smartphones can fall victim to malware such as FlexiSpy, and Mobistealth, where it effectively turn them into GPS tracking devices as well.
I hope that these GPS tracking devices will be used responsibly. They are shrinking, both in size, and in price. As much as I love to buy gadgets, I can’t say I’m looking forwards to buying a GPS bug sweeper. They may be shrinking in size, but certainly not in price.