The Ethical Factors
Philosophers and others who make a living out of answering the tough questions might consider dozens or even hundreds of factors before reaching a decision. The average person doesn’t have that kind of time. That is why we will be breaking down those factors into a few simple categories.
Who is tracking?
In this specific case, are we talking about a parent keeping track of their 7 year old, or a government tracking the movements of peaceful political dissidents? Not all "who’s" are equal.
Why is the tracking being done?
Tracking a group that could potentially pose a real threat, say parolees, is different then tracking someone who has done no wrong. Does the watcher have a truly noble reason or a need to watch movements?
Is the person being watched aware, and can they opt out?
This is an important two parter. If a person is being monitored they have the right to know this. The right to opt out will vary by user situation. Parolee’s are aware, but probably should not be allowed to opt out. People who just bought a shiny new cell phone for their kids should be both aware and able to opt out.
Now that we have an idea of the major factors, let’s take a look at some real life situations.