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What is geofencing?

Topics Covered: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.

What is geofencing?

What to study?

For Prelims: Meaning, features and how it works?

For Mains: Significance, associated concerns.

Context: The centre 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. The “geo-fencing” is accurate by up to 300 m.


The States have been asked to seek the approval of their Home Secretaries under the provisions of Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, for the specified mobile phone numbers to request the DoT to provide information by email or SMS in case of violation of “geo-fencing”.

What is geofencing?

It is a location-based service in which an app or other software uses GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi or cellular data to trigger a pre-programmed action when a mobile device or RFID tag enters or exits a virtual boundary set up around a geographical location, known as a geofence.

Depending on how a geofence is configured it can prompt mobile push notifications, trigger text messages or alerts, send targeted advertisements on social media, allow tracking on vehicle fleets, disable certain technology or deliver location-based marketing data.

How geofencing works?

To make use of geofencing, an administrator or developer must first establish a virtual boundary around a specified location in GPS- or RFID-enabled software.

This virtual geofence will then trigger a response when an authorized device enters or exits that area, as specified by the administrator or developer.

Other applications of geofence:

  1. Social networking.
  2. Marketing
  3. Audience engagement.
  4. Smart appliances.
  5. Human Resource management.
  6. Telematics.
  7. Security


Insta Links:

Prelims Link:

  1. RFID GS WiFi.
  2. GPRS vs GPS.
  3. What is TRAI?
  4. What is Section 5(2) of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885?

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of geofencing in the COVID 19 spread in India.

Sources: the Hindu.