First there was that broom stalking you on commercials when you got rid of it. Now, your detergent is watching you. Unilever — maker of Omo detergent — is placing GPS tracking devices in boxes of detergent to locate winners of its prizes through a promotions agency called “Bullet” in Brazil. Just think of Mr. Clean tracking you like a detergent version of “Cape Fear.”
The company says that the minute you take one of the boxes from the shelf, surveillance teams will begin tracking you. The head of the promotion promises that “they may get to your house as soon as you do.” That is comforting.
What is fascinating is that the Supreme Court barred the use of beepers by the government to allow the same surveillance in United States v. Karo, 468 U.S. 705 (1984). The Court held that the placement of the device in a can of ether constituted unlawful search and seizure. However, the Fourth Amendment protects citizens against government searches and seizure — not private surveillance. The latter is protected under more fluid concepts in privacy and torts (and in some cases statutory law).
Source: Ad Age