Gadget Friday: TrackStick


Scott McGrew:
Scott McGrewThe TrackStick ($180) is one of those “we know what you will use it for but we’ll ignore it” type devices. It’s a small GPS recording device that can show you where something has been. Stick it in a car, a purse* or anywhere else, and it will record its position over the course of several days.

Note you can’t track in real-time. It’s a recorder – you download the data to find out where it’s been.

Now, California law is a bit hazy on whether you can track someone without his or her knowledge. However, California has a very powerful “catch-all” privacy law that says essentially if something violates an adult’s privacy, it’s illegal.

So from a LEGAL standpoint, the TrackStick could be used in just a few ways; you could attach it to your backpack to see where you hiked. You could put it in a child’s car and make sure he wasn’t breaking the speed limit. You CAN’T (legally) put it in your boyfriend’s car to see where he’s been, um, hiking.

*generally the device needs to have “line of sight” to the sky to work. It may work (inconsistently) in a purse or other container.

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Scott McGrew
NBC Bay Area Business & Tech Reporter


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