From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Geo-fencing
Mains level : Geo-fencing and its application
The Centre is using powers under the Indian Telegraph Act to “fetch information” from telecom companies every 15 minutes to track COVID-19 cases across the country.
What is Geo-fencing?
- A geofence is a virtual perimeter for a real-world geographic area.
- A geo-fence could be dynamically generated—as in a radius around a point location, or a geo-fence can be a predefined set of boundaries (such as school zones or neighbourhood boundaries).
- The use of a geofence is called geofencing, and one example of usage involves a location-aware device of a location-based service (LBS) user entering or exiting a geo-fence.
- This activity could trigger an alert to the device’s user as well as messaging to the geo-fence operator.
Tracking COVID-19 patients
- The government has tested an application that triggers e-mails and SMS alerts to an authorised government agency if a person has jumped quarantine or escaped from isolation, based on the person’s mobile phone’s cell tower location.
- This “geo-fencing” is accurate by up to 300 m.