Computrace, from Absolute Software, adds stuff to your computer that broadcasts your location constantly so people can track everywhere you go. There is a GPS locator to measure your location and some wireless connections to transmit your location to whoever is watching. The software also monitors your computer and reports on the software installed and anything else people want to see.
The people watching probably include your boss to make sure you are with your customer and not sneaking out to the hotel next door for an afternoon with your favourite he(s) and/or she(s) and/or drug(s). Given that you do not know who is watching and it can include various levels of management, security staff, human resources, anyone in the Information technology department, and anyone else leaning over a partition talking with any of the above, there are a lot of people who could blackmail you into handing over money or sharing your favourite he(s) and/or she(s) and/or drug(s).
If you are not careful, your competitors at work, all those nasty people who want your job plus a lot of the people you think are your friends, can place nasty software and adult content on your computer. Computrace reports the illegal content and you are fired.
What, you do not think it happens? People tell me about events along the following lines. They all involve a computer audit. Computrace simply replaces the occasional random audit with a continuous realtime audit.
Person X goes on a business trip with some other people from the same company. While away, he/she lends his/her notebook to the other members of staff. After the trip, the notebook fails or requires a software upgrade. X takes the computer in to their IT department. Later that day, management confront X and escort X out the door. Fired. Management do not want bad publicity so management make X sign a non disclosure in return for a reference. X mentions the other people with access but nothing happens to the other people because whoever did it is not stupid enough to store bad stuff on a work computer.
Computrace is good for companies with fleets of notebooks out in the field and helps those who genuinely forget where you put the notebook but makes you paranoid the rest of the time. You will end up buying your own notebook for personal use and make sure it does not have Computrace.
Where is Computrace useful? You own a sales oriented company or a service company, perhaps a plumbing business. Your sales people/service people/plumbers visit a dozen people every day carrying their notebook in case they need information on site. They leave the notebook somewhere. The next day they look for the notebook, cannot find it, and trace it to the GPS location. They can then call customer X and say
I left my notebook at your place. It appears to be at the back of the house in your bathroom.. freaky. Imagine what the soon to be ex customer thinks.
If your people use their notebook in every call, they will know when it is missing. The trace system is of more use when they have a small thin notebook in a big case full of sales material and can forget to put the notebook back in the case. Notebooks are often stolen from cars and Computrace can help there, although installing a decent car alarm is more effective and cheaper.
You could also use Computrace to detect staff who are moonlighting at another job or who are fraudulently billing more time than they work. Detection would require someone to spy in person but it could start with a trace of the computer location. Person X records 4 hours at customer Y but the trace shows they spent only 2 hours at Y then spent 2 hours in another building. Of course X may have spent 2 hours with Y gathering data then enjoyed 2 hours in a nice cafe writing a report for Y. You have to have someone on the ground observing X when X is located in the wrong place.
If every computer used Computrace, thieves would carry aluminium cases for the notebooks because a good metal case would block the radio transmission. The thieves can then carry the notebook to a shielded room where they can kill the transmission chip and proceed with their devious plan (insert Hollywood plot to kill a senator and create a multi billion dollar monopoly in oil or to take over the even more profitable caffeinated sugar drink market).
Computrace is one more paranoia you do not need unless you are middle management in a big company then you are already paranoid and Computrace is the tool for you.