Chinese Drivers Forced To Use GPS Tracking
GPS tracking is used to help drivers protect their vehicles from theft and quickly recover a automobile if it is every stolen, but choosing to track a vehicle has always been the choice of the motorist. Well that is about to change for drivers in Bayingolin Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture of Xinjiang because motorists in that region are now required to equip a GPS tracker on their vehicles or they will be refused gas at fuel stations.
Starting this week (with the deadline at the end of June), any vehicle or bulldozer in this Chinese region must be equipped with a GPS tracking device. Chinese drivers will be required to pay the roughly $13 annual fee associates with the real-time tracking technology, but the government has stated they will pay any costs associated with installation of the GPS trackers. Vehicles not equipped with a tracking device will not be allowed to receive fuel at gas stations.
Although the thought of vehicle monitoring technology being utilized on a large scale is not that uncommon (Oregon once tried to propose vehicles be equipped with a GPS tracker in order to charge vehicles by mileage driven), China is the first nation to make it mandatory and at the same time punish those not utilizing the location-based technology. The reason why China is taking such bold moves? That would be the guise of security in a nation dealing with tensions among Han Chinese migrants and muslims, and a fear of potential terrorism.
As many Americans already know, when the government creates a new law and establishes based on unwarranted fear the result is usually a bigger government, more wasted money and less personal privacy. With the new law in place, Chinese officials will utilize the BeiDou system so they can track all vehicles 24/7. The official government position is that it will help local police recover a vehicle if it is ever stolen by terrorists. However, many locals are simply not buying it because the relationship between the Bayingolin Mongolian Autonomous Prefecture and the Chinese officials has seen problems in the past. For example, locals have complained about Chinese security forces starting massive rallies where hundreds of armed Chinese move through out the streets and make life "uncomfortable". Naturally, the Chinese government takes the position that the rallies are actually anti-terror rallies and necessary becasue they help security prepare for any future terrorist attacks.
Source: The Guardian