GPS tracking devices are appearing all over the place. This NYT article gives a very positive spin to the tagging of wild animals and to the making of the data widely available, seeing it as a way of building public support for conservation.
Some scientists are beginning to provide the public with direct access to tracking data. For instance, the leaders of the Tagging of Pacific Predators project, a 10-year tracking study of 23 different marine species, created a Web site broadcasting the movements of their subjects in real time (or close to it). While the project lasted, anyone with an Internet connection could follow the wanderings of Monty, the mako shark, Genevieve, the leatherback turtle, or Jon Sealwart and Stelephant Colbert, both northern elephant seals. The scientists supplemented the data with photos and profiles of some of the animals, as well as online trading cards and Facebook profiles.
I wonder how privacy absolutists deal with this? Did the animals give consent? Who can? Where is the line drawn?