Editorial

GPS Tracking Unemployment Recipients

Collecting Unemployment Benefits?

Here Is Your GPS Tracker

The current recession climate has resulted in prolonged lengths of high unemployment. With a democratic Senate and President always putting general welfare as a top priority, over the past two years the lawmakers in Washington have created Federal unemployment extensions due to the unique circumstances of the most severe recession since the Great Depression. Looking to cap fraud and ensure people are not taking advantage of the unemployment extensions, some bloggers and lobbyists are suggesting that GPS trackers be placed on the automobiles of people collecting unemployment checks.

GPS Tracking Devices

The current system in place requires people collecting unemployment to go through a certification process every two weeks for benefits where the claimant will answer questions regarding their work search. The person claiming unemployment benefits is also mandated to keep a work search history to validate that they are indeed looking for work while collecting unemployment. However, auditing the unemployment beneficiaries is a very difficult task for state departments of unemployment who are understaffed and stormed with seemingly a never-ending amount of new claims. However, making sure that people collecting unemployment benefits are indeed continuing to search for employment opportunities could be a whole lot easier through the use of GPS vehicle tracker technology. GPS tracking devices could provide the solution for accountability because the satellite technology can pinpoint everywhere a automobile goes, how long it was stopped at a certain location and more. Therefore, unemployment offices could use the data from the car tracking device to collaborate a recipients’ story about searching for work. This could be very helpful in determining if a person receiving unemployment benefits is indeed searching for work or if they are abusing the system.

Privacy Concerns

Whenever the discussion focuses on the use of GPS tracking to make sure someone is doing what they say they are doing the first concern becomes privacy. It is very similar to the argument that welfare recipients should have to undergo mandatory drug testing in order to receive benefits, and argument that constantly fringes on the potential violation of privacy rights. Naturally, any person who adheres to a GPS tracking device being equipped to their vehicle will be allowing a third party to oversee and evaluate that tracking data. Maybe it would help determine if a person collecting unemployment benefits was indeed searching for work, but it would also provide other personal data such as what churches, organizations, bars, social hang outs and other places. This is where some are concerned. Would you be okay with a initiative that made it mandatory for welfare recipients to undergo drug testing or those collecting unemployment benefits place a GPS tracker on their automobile?

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