On Dating - True Tracker Pro GPS Personal Security Device

By Ellen McCarthy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 5, 2008

"Single? Dating? Looking to meet that special someone?" asks the latest press release from a Largo, Fla., company called True Tracker Pro.

If you answered yes to any of those questions -- well, has this company got a product for you.

It will ease pre-date jitters, assuage your mother's mind and fit nicely in a sleek leather case attached to your belt buckle!

It's the True Tracker Pro GPS personal security device.

That's right, no matter where you go, your preapproved watchdog loved ones can monitor you from a distance. If things turn sour on a first date with your too-eager online amoré, just hit the SOS button and the call for backup is dispatched.

Seem a tad extreme?

Well, not to Tad Camp, a sheriff-turned-private investigator who has seen the aftermath of errant rendezvous enough times to be convinced there's no such thing as "too cautious." Camp, inventor of the True Tracker, says it's a matter of the way we date today: regularly meeting strangers with no context or mutual friends to vouch for them.

It works like this: You program the device with three phone numbers or e-mails of friends or family members. If you need help, hitting the SOS button sends an alert to your contacts every two minutes and tells them your exact location. (Of course, it'll cost you: $389 for the gadget, plus monthly service fees starting at $46.)

"People say its Big Brother-ish," Camp concedes. "My response to that is 'This isn't the government; this is your friends keeping an eye on you.' It only makes sense to take advantage of the technology available today."

Ehhhh, still seems like a bit much. But he has a point about the potential for danger in dating these days. Everyone should have an escape plan in case a date turns sketchy -- or, more likely, just plain bad.

Tell us your escape plan in an e-mail: dating@washpost.com.

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