GPS Tracking vs Privacy: Does an Unobtrusive Personal Safety GPS Tracker for the Young and the Elderly Exist?

AllsWell Team


GPS devices gained a deserved popularity for safety purposes. They help ensure asset safety, vehicle security, and, of course, personal safety. Personal safety GPS devices enhance the safety of movement, help in chronic disease management, and can be extremely helpful for our senior relatives living alone. But when considering GPS trackers for your adult and elderly relatives, there's a need to overcome privacy concerns and other objections that may arise. In today's article, we'll discuss the safety vs. privacy question and help you choose the best GPS tracker for the elderly or the young that brings your loved ones' personal safety to a new level.

Types of GPS Tracking Alerts for Personal Safety

The capabilities of the wearable GPS devices allow us to utilize it for permanent location awareness. That's why GPS trackers are used in fleet tracking, assets security, and more. Tracking movements can also be helpful for personal safety. Not being able to accompany our children or older relatives all the time, we can keep our peace of mind if we know where they are at a particular moment in time. 

Personal GPS devices are of different types, and here are the primary ones of GPS trackers for the elderly:

  • Portable GPS trackers. You can attach them to a backpack or a car seat or carry them in your hand while traveling. 

  • Pocket or accessorize-like GPS trackers. A separate small device fits in your pocket and can be secured there with a small carabiner. Some models are pretty small and can serve as a keychain or costume jewelry.

  • Wearable devices, such as necklaces or bracelets. You're less likely to lose them or leave them anywhere near your backpack or in the car. By being on you at all times, GPS trackers for personal safety such as GPS tracking watch for the elderly are permanently close by to signal distress if you get lost or something happens that needs help. The devices can be water-resistant and handy.

  • GPS tracking apps. Let's be honest: you hardly ever part with your smartphone. So, GPS tracker in it is quite a reliable way of location tracking. 

Later on, we'll discuss the convenience and unobtrusiveness of different types of trackers. And now, let's zoom in on safety alerts that GPS trackers and GPS tracking watch for the elderly and the young enable.

  1. Panic button. Usually, it's a round or square red button on the surface of the device. The convenient design of portable, pocket, or wearable GPS devices allows you to press the button with a simple movement. Just follow your instincts and press it without looking.

  2. Sound alert. In some cases, an accident happens to a person in a crowded place, but an elderly or sick person cannot make a sound to call for help or inform people around. Sound alerts are helpful here, and the device makes a loud sound after pressing an alert button. 

  3. Speed alert. Not so typical for GPS trackers for the elderly, but worth mentioning. After setting speed limitations, the device sends alerts if the registered speed is too high.

  4. Safety zone alerts. You can set a safety zone, and the device will send a signal if a person leaves it. Such a feature is a part of many GPS trackers for children.

  5. Calling 911 or local emergency service. If a device manufacturer has a contract with rescue organizations, the button alerts them, and a rescue group can arrive as soon as possible. Some apps with GPS monitoring features have medical information of the user, and paramedics arrive prepared.

  6. Informing the emergency contacts. GPS trackers can send different notifications, including text and voice messages, messages with your current location, and more.

Among the recipients of your messages, it is vital to choose those who are quickest to help you and know well the places you frequent and the potential threats to your life and health. The price of devices and applications also depends on cooperation with emergency services, the number of emergency contacts, etc. For an overview of apps prices and their GPS functionality, read this comparison guide

Limitations and Concerns of GPS Technology Use for Personal Safety

Unfortunately, we can not say that GPS technology allows us to protect our loved ones completely. In addition, the use of GPS trackers for our elderly and even young adult family members has some objections, mainly concerning privacy. 

The main limitations of GPS trackers use are:

  1. The visibility to the satellite. For real-time monitoring, the device must be in constant satellite connection. Metal constructions, buildings, and other objects can block the signal.  

  2. GPS signal jammers are another problem. Criminals use them to make it harder to track things or vehicles. The personal safety GPS tracker would also be negatively affected by such a device.

But complications with the signal transmission are not the most challenging thing in implementing the GPS technology for personal safety purposes. Since many devices such as fitness trackers collect GPS signals, personal data protection and other privacy concerns have long been a point of discussion. And the use of GPS trackers for elderly people or younger relatives often causes resistance from the very same relatives. No one wants to live under surveillance. So often, even a conversation about personal safety app with elderly parents or young adults living alone is difficult and unpleasant.

What Should an Unobtrusive Personal Safety GPS Tracker Be Like?

Sometimes you can't do without a GPS tracker for elderly people or adult relatives living alone. This is especially true when our family members have a chronic disease, or problems with memory and attention. Unfortunately, Alzheimer's disease is making life more and more difficult for younger and younger people. Dementia erases memory, and a person can get lost even in a familiar place. Thus, any walk outdoors is dangerous for people with Alzheimer's. And even if they live with you and only go out into the yard, a GPS location tracker for the elderly can save their life more than once. On the other hand, it is unacceptable to use a GPS tracking device without consent.

When it comes to local data sharing, people are afraid of the permanence of being under surveillance. The ability to report your location in case you need help is perceived positively. Our loved ones are more likely to accept the option of alert-triggered automatic reporting of their location than permanent reporting.

AllsWell Alert App for Unobtrusive, Alert-Triggered GPS Tracking 

You should build relationships with your loved ones on trust and retain your peace of mind about their safety, and their peace of mind about their privacy. AllsWell Alert app is specifically designed for those who care about both the safety and the comfort of their loved ones. So no constant monitoring, annoying calls, and reports. The app will only pull your GPS data when you press a panic button or 5 minutes before an inactivity alert is about to be sent to your emergency contacts. Subscribe to AllsWell Alert and try it for a free month right now:

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