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Watching Kids Via Mobile Phone 315

Posted by timothy
from the substitute-subjects-for-children dept.
Joe the Lesser writes "This BBC article says how parents could soon keep a much closer eye on what children are up to on their way to and from school thanks to a mobile monitoring system. It will send text alerts to their mobile phone if the child deviates too far from that route or takes too long getting there."
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Watching Kids Via Mobile Phone

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  • Whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jhunsake (81920) on Monday March 24, 2003 @06:54PM (#5586838) Journal
    Like this won't be hard to fool. Give your phone to a friend that *is* going to the school event. Or any number of a million different ways. Kids are very innovative.
    • Re:Whatever (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Liora (565268) on Monday March 24, 2003 @06:57PM (#5586869) Journal
      Exactly. I can already see it...

      "Hey, are you going straight home after school?"
      "Yeah"
      "Can you drop my phone on my doorstep on your way?"

      That would have been my method at least...
    • Re:Whatever (Score:5, Funny)

      by Hayzeus (596826) on Monday March 24, 2003 @06:59PM (#5586889) Homepage
      Which is why we surgically implant the phone into junior's abdomen. Let's see the little nippers get around THAT one...
      • Re:Whatever (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        tinfoil underwear
      • Re:Whatever (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mbogosian (537034)
        What an excellent way to help young people become successfully integrated into society [paulgraham.com] (formerly discussed here [slashdot.org]). Of course, if the Bush administration has its way, then this really will help...the kids will be more accustomed to destructively invasive surveillance than their parents; they'll be all ready for this brave new world....
      • Re:Whatever (Score:3, Funny)

        by miketang16 (585602)
        Hehe... I can see it now.. mini-EMP cannon for firing at abdomen to disable tracking unit. =) Next month on ThinkGeek! (hey.. they got everything else)
    • That's assuming A) the parent is dumb enough to actually TELL the kid this is what they're doing. B) kid is willing to give up his cell phone while they're goofing off/whatever. But in general, this "feature" does seem sketchy at best.
    • Re:Whatever (Score:5, Insightful)

      by stilwebm (129567) on Monday March 24, 2003 @07:01PM (#5586916)
      Many of the kids who do stray from their path with get the idea from this type of "leash" technology.

      Give the kids some responsibility and some space. Let them grow. Otherwise they will be thrown in to college or the real world with the need for responsibility for their first time. I've seen it happen, and believe me, it is not pretty.
    • It will only work if the phone is switched on and is being carried by the child.

      So, the kid turns the phone off, leaves it at a friend's house, whatever.
    • It's more a security thing for littler kids who are at risk of abduction -- when they have to walk to and from school, for example, or run errands, or go outside to a friend's house. I can see this being a big seller for parents with the money to spare and who want to make sure their kids can enjoy a reasonable amount of freedom without watching them every single hour.
    • Sure, if the kid doesn't want to be monitored, the system won't work. The target audience is parents of younger kids, kids who don't plan on doing anything after school and don't mind their parents keeping an electronic eye on them.

      Of course, the problem comes when your kid gets old enough to decide he doesn't want to be monitored any more. That'll be an interesting discussion with the parents.

    • Re:Whatever (Score:3, Interesting)

      by chrisseaton (573490)
      Picture phones:

      "Let mummy see your face"
  • WW2 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by conner_bw (120497) on Monday March 24, 2003 @06:55PM (#5586841) Homepage Journal
    Was world war II fought so that we could enjoy the freedoms we don't want our children to?

    Some good parenting = trust ! facist paranoia.
    • Re:WW2 (Score:3, Insightful)

      by binaryDigit (557647)
      Was world war II fought so that we could enjoy the freedoms we don't want our children to?

      Like the freedom to get snatched while walking to school? As with any information utensil, it's only as invasive as you make it. Something like this appeals to me as a father of a young daughter. I wouldn't use it to track where she's going, only to alert me if something "went wrong". What they fought for in WWII is to allow me the freedom to utilize this tool if I think it necessary.
      • children's rights? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SHEENmaster (581283) <travis@uRASPtk.edu minus berry> on Monday March 24, 2003 @07:28PM (#5587130) Homepage Journal
        I know that legally colonial serfs had more rights than I do as a minor in the USA, but I wouldn't take shit like this.

        This is just begging for waterproof-testing, dogbiteproof-testing, bullyproof-testing, backingcaroverproof-testing, and fireproof-testing. I can understand the acceptability for much younger children, but by the time we get a single friend with a driver's license the "leash" idea is dead in the water.

        You celebrate that the government doesn't have the right to put a radio collar on you, yet you jump at the oppurtunity to put one on your own child!

        "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
        • by Xerithane (13482) <xerithane AT nerdfarm DOT org> on Monday March 24, 2003 @07:39PM (#5587200) Homepage Journal
          You celebrate that the government doesn't have the right to put a radio collar on you, yet you jump at the oppurtunity to put one on your own child!

          A parent has an obligation to be informed of their childs where-abouts, and safety. Governments do not raise children, parents do. Parents care about the well-being, which is exactly why he said he would use it as a notifier if something went wrong.

          This is a good thing.

          If your parents don't trust you at 16, I would say it has something to do with you, not them.
          • and they make up the vast minority of parents by doing so.
            • My parents trust me and they make up the vast minority of parents by doing so.

              Then why do you care? This is not about childrens rights, it's about parent and child relationships.
              • why I care (Score:3, Insightful)

                by SHEENmaster (581283)
                I'm not suggesting a legal remedy, nor am I saying that parenting should be restricted by the government. I am saying that placing such restrictions on children is a bad idea and is rarely in their best interest.

                I care because I read George Orwell's 1984, and I saw that as a possible future.

                No one gives a shit about parent and child relationships so long as they aren't physically or sexually abusive. In 15 months, is it likely that I won't give a shit either? Do any of us care about the plight of o
                • I'm not suggesting a legal remedy, nor am I saying that parenting should be restricted by the government. I am saying that placing such restrictions on children is a bad idea and is rarely in their best interest.

                  Neither is letting your child play video games constantly, or sitting to close to the TV, or letting them eat too much junk food. For that matter, any junk food. It's not your responsibility or right to tell anybody what is right or wrong when it comes to raising children.

                  I care because I read
          • If your parents don't trust you at 16, I would say it has something to do with you, not them.

            I would dispute that, as I know a couple of parents who have serious control issues. That said, it doesn't matter who's to blame: this 'kid' is going to be an adult in 2 years and he needs to get some freedom and responsibility whether he can handle it or not. Better to screw up royally while still a minor than wait til you're legally an adult.

            • Screw up? of course my children will screw up. fine.
              However, if they get into a situation and there in real trouble, I'd like them to be able them to let me know. They may not be able to let anybody know there notifing me as well.

              Its one thing to find out yor kid went to a friends house to drink a beer, its another to find out there going north on the I-5.

              *I-5 - interstate freeway number 5, for you non-usa'er.

          • You make a much-needed point on slashdot. There are tons of people who get upset when we support innovative tracking systems or clever ways to surveil employees, because to them fear of the government's wielding these tools precludes any reasonable celebration of their innovativeness.
            It's like most of my personal positions as a Libertarian. I believe the homeless and the disabled should receive SOME form of aid; I just don't think it should come from my pocket at the point of a gun. That doesn't mean it
      • But any intelligent criminal (even if they aren't technically savvy) knows that the location of
        mobile phones can be tracked.

        Your assertion that WWII was fought to allow you "the freedom to utilize the tool if I
        think it necessary", is both ludicrous and myopic. The _main_ reason the USA entered
        WWII was because the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour. Any other grand ideals
        were secondary.
      • I hate to break it to you, but part of life is risk. It seems that technology has dulled our capacity to accept risk, but with that comes a lessened capacity to experience life. See what I mean?

        What did people do before cell phones? Cars? Things are worse since 9/11. If people continue to need more and more constant input to make sure "nothing went wrong," they'll grow dependent on it. That's where trust comes into play; it won't exist. We will continue to bury ourselves in our homes and offices, co

      • Like the freedom to get snatched while walking to school?

        Well, most abductions are done by people the kid knows, like a dad in the midst of a nasty divorce, so that won't help. This may help with your random sicko, provided he doesn't have the presence of mind to look for bugs, but random sickos don't account for a whole lot of risk. That said, I think this stuff is fine until the kid turns 7 or 8 - provided the kid knows why it's there. I can't imagine subjecting a high-schooler to this sort of treatmen

    • Re:WW2 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DaemonGem (557674) on Monday March 24, 2003 @07:09PM (#5586977) Homepage Journal
      "Some good parenting = trust ! facist paranoia."

      I never had this problem with my parents. They always trusted me, I'm pleased to say, however, I'm not here to discuss me. There are a million ways to get around this, such as ... leaving your phone at home, or turning your phone off. Now perhaps people will say that since they are kids, and most kids are irresponsible, this is a good thing to do. However:

      "Rules are meant to be broken"
      -Some wise soul

      I take for example spy software that my best friend's mother put on his computer. He wasn't computer savvy enough to bypass it, however, if I had had such software on my computer:

      1. I would hate my parents, and feel resentful towards them.
      2. I would do my best to bypass this with things that are available here [peacefire.org].

      Don't people realize that spying on your kids will only make them want to break the rules? If I knew that my parents were the type that would spy on me while I'm at school, then I would refuse to have a cell phone.

      This seems to me to be something for overly paranoid and protective parents that think they can't trust their kids, and need to know at what second of the day their kids are doing anything.
      -Dae
    • "Was world war II fought so that we could enjoy the freedoms we don't want our children to?"

      Um what freedom's being taken away? It's not a mandatory service.

      Here's a tip for everybody: If it's optional, then it's not a rights or privacy problem.
    • I would hardly equate liberating Europe after a sneak attack by the Japanese with parents wanting to know where their kids are. Or perhaps you think child accountability and genocide are about the same thing.
    • Re:WW2 (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drooling-dog (189103)
      I grew up in the 60s. Lots of kids everywhere, and we just flew out the door every day and played with other kids with minimal adult supervision. These days, the media has scared parents so much that they feel obliged to monitor their kids every minute of every day. Free-form play, wherein children make up their own rules and form their own associations, has been replaced by tightly scheduled, highly supervised activities supervised by adults. So, kids become accustomed to constant adult supervision, and wh
  • by razablade (118107) on Monday March 24, 2003 @06:55PM (#5586846)
    Big Mother is watching you...
  • by Hayzeus (596826) on Monday March 24, 2003 @06:56PM (#5586855) Homepage
    To keep them from deviating too close to the refrigerator? Sign me up!
  • by burgburgburg (574866) <splisken06@@@email...com> on Monday March 24, 2003 @06:56PM (#5586864)
    A.G. John Ashcroft requires all citizens to carry mobile monitoring system. "Stop whining, be patriotic and recognize that this is for your own good. Now bend over."
  • This worries me (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ObviousGuy (578567)
    It's a very small step from branding kids with these tracking units to implanting tracking units in every citizen. Though such a move would no doubt improve the ability of the police to track down criminals, I worry that it could be used in such a way to discriminate against certain groups.

    This is a bad usage of this kind of technology.
    • Obligatory reference to Captain Cyborg [theregister.co.uk] ...
    • Re:This worries me (Score:3, Insightful)

      by abe ferlman (205607)
      First they required implants until you turn 18, but I was of age so I was silent.

      Then they required implants to get discounts at the grocery store. But I buy all my food at the froofy vegan store so I was silent.

      Then they required implants to carry a gun, but didn't think I could successfully revolt against a tyrannous government so I was silent.

      Then they required implants to drive a car, but even working the required 72 hours a week I couldn't afford my own vehicle so I was silent.

      Then the government
    • It's a very small step from branding kids with these tracking units to implanting tracking units in every citizen

      sure, just like it's a small step from making your kid eat vegetables to soylent-green world. get a grip.
  • by Scrameustache (459504) on Monday March 24, 2003 @06:58PM (#5586882) Homepage Journal
    "This leash demeans us both!"
    • Over Spring Break, I went up to the Grand Canyon. Really just a day trip; I was going to ski but the place where I wanted to ski was just too crowded for my taste. Seems Arizona has had the best snow in decades. And the weather made my second choice a bit too dangerous (hiking a slot canyon in Utah, entirely possible that it could become deadly in a flash flood, and it was raining up there.) So I went to the Grand Canyon. Most beautiful day I've ever seen there.

      Anyway, as I was walking along the rim, I
  • by Wind_Walker (83965) on Monday March 24, 2003 @06:58PM (#5586884) Homepage Journal
    You can find out what the new device looks like here [harbucks.com].

    Honesly, you can barely tell he has it on!

  • by Doctor Memory (6336) on Monday March 24, 2003 @06:58PM (#5586886)
    I'd like to know when my legislators stray too far away from the capitol (and too close to a lobbyist's "hospitality suite").
  • I can't wait for all the "Big Brother is watching" jokes. Bring 'em on /.ers!!
  • The good: When I have kids, I will know if they get kidnapped (assuming the criminial isn't smart enough to throw away the phone), or if they run away, get lost, are sneaking off to bad parts of town, etc.

    The bad: As a citizen I hardly want a system that knows my whereabouts at all times. Hey, maybe those phone booths on the corner will be useful yet!
  • Effects on kids? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TFloore (27278) on Monday March 24, 2003 @06:59PM (#5586897)
    Okay, I don't have any kids, so maybe I'm missing something here...

    I understand parents being spooked by news reports of kidnappings and related badness, and wanting to protect your kids from the bad things in the world. I agree with this.

    I just worry about the effects of too-close monitoring like this on kids. What kind of adults do you get when the kids are raised with this kind of monitoring/oversight?

    Are they going to be too dependent on someone swooping in to save them when they mess up, and not self-reliant? Possibly too accepting of governemnt oversight of their every move? Too scared to deviate from an established pattern for fear they'll have to explain to someone that fact that they just felt like doing something different that day? (Admit it, you've "lived up to" expectations that you found limiting before, haven't you?)

    Maybe they'll be amazingly good at evading monitoring and doing what they like anyway?

    I don't know. I doubt we will know for quite a while. But I worry about it.
    • You mean like modern American adults that are in no way responsible for their actions because the previous generation overreacted to "poor Johnny got sent to jail for a mistake/accident and ruined his life"?

      *shrug* there's a happy medium for most of these things, which society can never settle on.
    • I just worry about the effects of too-close monitoring like this on kids. What kind of adults do you get when the kids are raised with this kind of monitoring/oversight?

      I worry about the kinds of adults you get when kids are raised with no monitoring/oversight.
      • I worry about the kinds of adults you get when kids are raised with no monitoring/oversight.

        You mean yourself? Or have you forgotten that oversight is possible without tracking your kid's every movement? That's how we got along before all of this, and it worked out pretty well.

      • I worry about the kinds of adults you get when kids are raised with no monitoring/oversight.

        That's funny, I worry about the kinds of adults you get when kids are raised with too much monitoring/oversight.

    • by Donut (128871) on Monday March 24, 2003 @07:27PM (#5587117)
      As a parent...

      A child's ability to deal with a situation is dependant on many factors. Their age, their maturity, and their experience, their education. My job as a parent is to provide increasingly challenging responsibilities to my children so that they can try, make mistakes, and learn in a controlled environment. It is up to me to make sure that they are ready for the next "phase", and monitor their progress, and catch them if they fall. The end result, hopefully, is that around 18 or so, they can function in the real world without supervision, and will make decisions that will help them reach their goals (and stay out of trouble).

      Believe it or not, as kids are striking out on their own in more and more areas in life, they want and need to know that their parents are backing them up.

      Anyway, a tool like this would be ridiculous for a 17 year old, but it might be perfect in middle school. They say they are going somewhere. They may or may not be testing their boundries. This device would sure beat following them around.

      Good parenting involves controlled risk, safe consequences, and constant learning. Pretending that they are adults at 13 is perhaps the worst crime a parent can commit.

      -Donut
      • it might be perfect in middle school. They say they are going somewhere. They may or may not be testing their boundries. This device would sure beat following them around.

        I seem to remember that 13 was about the peak time for my "parent's arn't cool" phase. If you are using this device to spy on your child instead of to keep him/her safe expect it to be destroyed or spoofed after the first time you say, "You said you were going to Jimmy's house, but you really went to Jill's house."

    • I understand parents being spooked by news reports of kidnappings and related badness, and wanting to protect your kids from the bad things in the world. I agree with this.
      I just worry about the effects of too-close monitoring like this on kids. What kind of adults do you get when the kids are raised with this kind of monitoring/oversight?

      I also wonder what today's kids will be like as adults. I notice that parents today seem to be much more paranoid about their children. When I was growing up, parent

    • What kind of adults do you get when the kids are raised with this kind of monitoring/oversight?

      The kind that vote for dubya and Total Information Awareness.
  • Excellent! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smcavoy (114157) on Monday March 24, 2003 @07:00PM (#5586899)
    Well now that the last piece of the puzzle has been found, I'm ready to have kids.
    Between that, net nanny and the V-chip I can enjoy having kids by spending time where it's needed (i.e. not with them).

    Thanks for these wonderful time saving inventions.
  • uggghh... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by matt[0] (12351) on Monday March 24, 2003 @07:00PM (#5586903) Homepage Journal
    I'm glad I grew up on the cusp of the computer revolution. Kids these days will need to do so much crap to avoid surveilance. Obsessive parents get yet another tool to shelter their kids and contribute to growing population of under-socialized children.

  • The next step... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bahwi (43111) <incomingNO@SPAMjosephguhlin.com> on Monday March 24, 2003 @07:00PM (#5586906) Homepage
    In 2005 we'll see this slashdot post (emphasis added ):

    "This BBC article says how governments could soon keep a much closer eye on what their citizens are up to thanks to a mobile monitoring system. It will alert law enforcement officials if the person deviates too far from the government approved route or takes too long getting there."

    No, I'm not a paranoid/delusional freak. I just thought it's something to think about. I highly doubt that will actually happen, but hey, technology is improving. Let's see where it will take us, and let's see when we can log onto the net and see where it is taking us (literally).
    • Or dispatch a police car to check up on the cellphone that seems to be moving 80 MPH... Who knows if the tracking system caught the speeder, or if the cop just happened to be there...
    • "This BBC article says how governments could soon keep a much closer eye on what their citizens are up to thanks to a mobile monitoring system. It will alert law enforcement officials if the person deviates too far from the government approved route or takes too long getting there."

      But they have that NOW!

      Technology is already in place to track any powered-up cellphone, including high-res locaion and speed if it's within cellshot of three or more bases. (Maybe two or more.) Doesn't require a fancy phone
  • The horrible murders of the parents happened because 'He Who Walks Behind The Rows' didn't want to pay a monthly fee.

    Besides, Iowa cornfields are no place for cellphones.

    Won't somebody please think of the Children?

  • From the article, "It will only work if the phone is switched on and is being carried by the child."

    Hell, I switch mine off every chance I get already. Sometimes I lose battery, or get out of area... would this report back to the parent as "your child is kidnapped, please panic now" ??? Besides, my kids won't get their own phones until they are well into the ages where I feel safe that they can manage their way home. (They won't be getting a TV in their room, or their own car, or anything else these s
  • A quick googling found a CNN [cnn.com] story from August, 2002.
    I know there were products on the market a year ago that offered the same service, but can't remember the company name off the top of my head.
    Anyone find an older reference?
  • [cynacism]Won't this just get them used to the future we're heading towards anyway?[/cynacism]

    I think that policing your children like this is going to sow more distrust than anything else. And, by teenage thinking, as long as they are going to get blamed for stuff they are not doing (distrust=blame in teenland), then they may as well do it. You would be, in effect, reinforcing the cycle of poor choices.

    I realize that the article expressly states that the system is designed for 8-12 year olds, but it wo

  • Really these people need to stop watching SouthPark for ideas of new products. What next.. are they going to bug them as well to listen in.. just in case they are talking to a bad person.. or using language they dont like? Doesnt this show complete lack of trust in your children.. and when the parent doesnt trust the child will the child ever trust the parent? I mean wont they belive all rules and such are in place to control the child and not protect? Bah, if a parent buys this they should save the mone
  • Stop The Madness! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Newskyarena (643521)
    They have similar devices already. Usually they are attached to the ankles of Inmates who are under house confinement. You want your children to grow up in fear, strap one of these phones to them and teach your children to be afraid of the consequences of deviating from the defined path. Why not proactively teach them the right way to conduct themselves through positive reinforcement rather than by making them paranoid?
  • by SuperMario666 (588666) on Monday March 24, 2003 @07:10PM (#5586984)
    An average one mile walk will have around 10 checkpoints but the parent can have fewer if they wish.

    Maybe by the time my children get around to having children we'll have mobile phones that can completely rob our children of free will. Hell, since we're already starting to design them from birth maybe phone triggered on(wake)/off(sleep) switches as well. Anything to keep us from actually having to waste our precious time or assume any sort of responsibility for our kids - that's what technology and the government are for!
    • by natet (158905)
      Hello, do you even have kids?? Do you know every minute of the day what they are doing? If so, you are a better parent than I. This doesn't have to be a fascist thing. I for one would like to know if my kid actually got to school. If he is cutting class, that is possibly a symptom of a larger problem, and should probably be discussed.

      In this day and age when parents are afraid to do something as basic as spank thier child, it is about time that someone came out with something to help even things out.
  • by Dave21212 (256924) <dav@spamcop.net> on Monday March 24, 2003 @07:10PM (#5586987) Homepage Journal

    ...about these things !


    I can just imagine, "Honey, stop by the grovery store, and the cleaners, and gas station, oh, and I'll be monitoring your progress so don't get 'lost' on the way..."
    [shivvvvvers]
    • I can just imagine, "Honey, stop by the grovery store, and the cleaners, and gas station, oh, and I'll be monitoring your progress so don't get 'lost' on the way..."

      You need one of two things: some balls, or a divorce.

      I make my wife cook and clean in a nightgown and high heels. It's the natural order of things; you just have to explain it to them the right way.
  • Presumably, the reason parents aren't able to maintain a close trust-building connection to their kids its that they are too busy.

    Yet...they have time to program their Sprint "Orwell's Friends and family" plan and change the parameters every time their kid goes to the mall.

    <free advice> Invest the time in your kids rather than their phones! </free advice>

  • There have been a number of articles on location monitoring. Some of the technologies that are capable of doing this in real time are:

    cell phones - as mentioned, you are always pinpointed by cell
    credit cards - purchases link you to a database in real time
    ATM - smile, they get your picture, too!
    wireless networking - your MAC address is a unique ignature

    The interesting part will be to find out who is getting exempted from the databases. For example, the US Congress has a history of exempting themselves fr
  • Pink Floyd said it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PD (9577) <slashdotlinux@pdrap.org> on Monday March 24, 2003 @07:24PM (#5587091) Homepage Journal
    Hush, my baby. Baby, don't you cry.
    Momma's gonna make all of your nightmares come true.
    Momma's gonna put all of her fears into you.
    Momma's gonna keep you right here under her wing.
    She won't let you fly, but she might let you sing.

    What we do to our kids, they will eventually turn around and do it to us.
  • Two reasons: .01) if you don't trust your kids, you're not a good parent. if your kids really are bad and something just went wrong, playing big brother won't help the situation. .02) how does the crypto work? is it really secure? what if a pedophile figures out how to exploit the system to track his favorite child?


  • I believe a larger issue may have been missed here. Is it in 2006 when legislation takes effect in the USA that Cell phones must be tracable to a specific geographic coordinate?

    Between employers, stalkers, and jealous spouses, there ought be plenty of room for unhappiness.
    • Between employers, stalkers, and jealous spouses, there ought be plenty of room for unhappiness.

      And governmental abuse. I think it would be a matter of one rotation of good ole Cesium-133 before somebody put out a jamming device. Maybe it would screw with the reception on the handy but a missed phone call or two is worth a shot at MaryJane's pink bits.
  • Normally I would say this is a stupid idea, but my boss would love this and use it...

    He has about a 2 hour each way commute to work and currently has a webcam set up at his home to watch his wife and kids while at the office. This way he can see his child grow up and communicate via IM also...
  • ear tagging. Just watch out which ear you tag or they'll catch a lot of flack at school.
  • Chief Wiggum: "We can use this new techology console thingy here to track the exact whereabout of your vehicle."
    Automated voice from console: "Car gone. Car gone."
    Wiggum: "Sheesh, we KNOW it's gone, now where is it?"
    Automated voice (louder,faster): "CAR GONE! CAR GONE! CAR GONE!"
  • ...is written for 12-year olds?

    And why call this a "rights online" issue?

    Children don't have the same rights as adults. Adults are responsible for their kids' behavior. If a parent has reason to believe a child is going somewhere and doing something he/she isn't allowed to go, this phone gizmo makes a lot more sense than tieing a long string on the kid.
  • GPS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mossfoot (310128) on Monday March 24, 2003 @07:31PM (#5587158) Homepage
    Why not just attatch a GPS tracking system into them or something? Then when your daughter turns 16 and you're worried about young Billy going to second base with her you can make sure they really are going to the library and not MakeOut-Point. Maybe it can set off a proximity alert if his hands get to close to her bra?

    Remember, folks, Big Brother begins at home ;)
  • hmm.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by jglow (525234) on Monday March 24, 2003 @07:37PM (#5587190) Homepage Journal
    if they stray to far away from their destination in their car, parents send a text message and child plows into oncoming car while reading thier parents message
  • Whatever happenned to the family values: you know the types where mothers, fathers, siblings, relatives, and even friends play a constructive role in a child's development? The most important element "TRUST" seems to be missing in many of the gadgets, be it net filters, stricter schools, or tough "wars" on anything that the parents feel threatening.

    All this mind you, when the most popular shows on television are disguistingly vouyeristic (be it just sexual -- a lot of it these days revolving around who so
  • by Gary Franczyk (7387) on Monday March 24, 2003 @07:44PM (#5587237)
    Oppression always shows its strongest form on children. There is an enormous amount of power in the hands of the parents.

    Parents do things to children that would be unconscionable on ordinary citizens, or even the worst criminals.

    Think about it. Think of the uproar that would occur if the government:

    - Drugged undesirables with adult 'ritalin'.
    - Tracked our movements to make sure we were in the right place at the right time.
    - Removed the right to free speech like they do at schools. (even though the supreme court ruled that the right to free speech did not end when students and teachers entered the school doors)

    Just something to think about.
  • by sssmashy (612587) on Monday March 24, 2003 @07:47PM (#5587256)

    Eventually, the monitoring system will be combined with GPS data so that parents can track the location of their precious children at all times.

    This leads to some interesting possibilities for teenage pranksters. Imagine the look on Mom's and Dad's faces when, just before leaving on his three-day camping trip, little Johnny sends his cellphone to China by FedEx.

  • by Joey7F (307495) on Monday March 24, 2003 @07:50PM (#5587279) Homepage Journal
    I am certain that no one, not even the cellular services, will use this to their advantage...

    Two years later...

    ::walking downtown::

    ::Text message beeps::

    I open it and it says,

    "Why not try a tasty burger from 'Flinging Freddy's' only 2 blocks away."

    Call my cynical,

    --Joey
  • ... if can it tell that you're smoking crack with the highschool crackwhore (or if you are the crackwhore).
  • Protect them first from themselves: http://www.infernosoft.com/investments/viriguard/ i ndex.shtml Viriguard will protect them from themselves! Did you know that all medical conditions come from self abuse? Well, this is the perfect solution that they can't get out of. "Watching Kids Via Mobile Phone" is another good method that we now have available. But for more invasive methods we have conspired with aliens to produce undetectable alien implants for your kids - as a special extra we have the matching
  • Wouldn't it be more useful to have something more akin to lojack for kids? This would be a device which would _only_ have applicability if the child was in trouble, rather than an intrusive device which they will inevitably reject somewhere around age 10. It would also be more useful for tracking a kidnapping victim since the kidnapper wouldn't nessasarially know it existed (unlike the cell phone that distracted the kid while the villian snuck up on them). It could also be potentially much smaller since
  • by NedTheNerd (652808) on Monday March 24, 2003 @08:09PM (#5587402)
    WARNING: Timmy is leaving the sceduled path deserters will be shot! there is a viable alternative for this device. actualy WALKING WITH your child to school. but of course if thats too much you can have your robot drug your child and have him shipped to school via fed ex.
  • Because everyone knows there's no difference between kids and criminals. Or is that kids and property?

    Bumper sticker: My junenile delinquent is screwing your honor roll student.
  • by starsong (624646) on Monday March 24, 2003 @09:07PM (#5587758)
    This may be OT, but think of how this kind of thing, misapplied (and it *will* be misapplied, as all technology eventually is) could affect a kid.

    Picture a child, who...
    • never cuts class
    • is never late
    • always goes where he's supposed to
    • always says "please" and "thank you"
    • never gets in with the "wrong crowd"
    • never gets into fights
    • never watches TV until his homework's done
    • never watches violent movies or TV
    • never looks at porn or "inapproprite content" online
    • always has dinner with his parents
    • has the "right" friends, made at soccer practice and trombone lessons and nature camp and Sunday school and community service weekends and every other Very Important Character-Building Activity

    Was this you when you were young? Would you really be a better person if you had done these things? Would you be happier? My vote is NO, as I spent all of high school doing most of these things and was ready to kill myself freshman year of college, when I was given an ID card, a room key and told to fend for myself.

    My mind drifts to Jonbenet Ramsey as I wonder why American parents have such sterilized, plastic-molded ideals for their children.

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday March 25, 2003 @03:15AM (#5589455) Homepage
    Now and then, I ask some of the teenagers around what gadgets they like and don't like, and what they think of some stuff coming along. (These are well-off kids in Silicon Valley; your mileage may vary.)

    They seem unbothered by monitoring. They just assume that everything is recorded somewhere, and that's the way things work. They'd like to be able to track their friends via their cellphones. They spend a lot of time updating each other on where they are, and think it would be easier if they didn't have to call to ask.

    This gives you a sense of where things are going. Location as a public record.

Thus spake the master programmer: "After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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