Saturday, December 18, 2010

GPS Evidence Legislation-Good for Business Generation & Job Creation?

In these difficult economic times, States are struggling for any economic advantage to differentiate themselves from their other State competition. They offer tax incentives, deregulate and streamline, and do whatever they can to make themselves as business-friendly as possible. However, most, if not all states have fallen behind in onItalice way they can become more business friendly, reasonably regulating the use of GPS tracking devices and the GPS evidence created by those devices.

If most businesses hate regulation, how can reasonably regulating GPS evidence collection and handling be pro-business? Simple. By regulating GPS evidence collection and introduction, state legislatures will add predictability to the whole concept of GPS business use. Right now, GPS evidence is largely unregulated, with no wide reaching legislation and very few court decisions. Any business using GPS evidence could run afoul of some local court decision, and have to wait years to find out whether it's business use of GPS is allowed with approval, allowed with disapproval, barred without damages, or sanctioned with a great deal of damages, by an appeals court. A broad legislative scheme reasonably regulating GPS use gives the business the predictability it needs to move forward.

Why would a State where individuals and businesses can predictably use GPS evidence cause a business to move to that state? Consider the business advantages:
  1. The ability to GPS track business products and services, employees and transportation devices, and know if and when that GPS evidence will be allowed into a court of law.
  2. The ability to know that substantial capitol outlay for GPS tracking devices, or contracts for GPS services, won't be rendered valueless by a judicial fiat.
  3. The knowledge that law enforcement entities can better protect business property, employees and their families because the State has reasonable GPS regulation that won't result in appeals courts throwing out convictions resulting from GPS evidence.
  4. The ability to regulate costs, like worker compensation and casualty insurance, by allowing reasonable use of GPS based investigation-investigation with better, clearer results that disclose fraud and work to accurately compensate the truly injured victims.
  5. The knowledge that, in a state where GPS evidence can be used to investigate crime, tax rates will be lower because of lower costs for policing.
Furthermore, there are very few legislative initiatives any state can adopt to attract business that are cost free. Reasonable GPS regulation is cost free. Violaters of a GPS evidence laws will, by the very nature of the evidence, be self-prosecuting. Those who attempt to enter GPS evidence the law bars will be opposed by their opponents, and will not require state involvement.

So, since I'm from Wisconsin, I have to ask the question-will my state be the first state to declare itself GPS friendly? And business friendly? Will others follow? GPS, by its very nature, travels. What state will want to be an island opposed to reasonable GPS regulation?

Of course, because GPS evidence creation may be considered "interstate commerce" government may simply pass reasonable GPS evidence regulation that preempt all state regulation. Consider, if you will, that all GPS evidence starts by receiving signals generated almost entirely outside the boundaries of the State in question, by satellites high above the earth, often outside of the borders of the United States. This may take some time, however, and those States who manage to regulate GPS evidence first will gain a free business-friendly advantage-one that might evaporate overnight if GPS regulation becomes nationwide. Thus, States should work quickly to get the best reasonable GPS regulations in place they can, while they can still get "something for nothing." Businesses that relocate, in part, because of good GPS policy won't move if GPS regulation goes nationwide, because the playing field will be leveled at that point. States will keep the jobs and business tax revenue they got for nothing.

Who will be first? Let's get GPS friendly now!

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