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SCI/TECH: Are "Kid Trackers" Good or Evil?

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posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 06:16 PM
Bluespan has introduced a new tracker to help parents keep up with children. The device, called ionKids, consists of a wristband or tag that sends out an alert when kids travel too far from the base unit. The unit has a range of 350-400 feet and allows up to four children to be tracked simultaneously. Parents of young and disabled children have expressed approval, while others have expressed concern about institutionalized surveillance.

"When you look around your house and you can't find your child, you go to the mall, you go to a park and your kid's missing and you get that gut-wrenching feeling for 30 seconds or five minutes, 'I can't find my child,'" said Bob Frank, the chief executive officer of Bluespan, which makes a child tracker called "ionKids."

Their gadget uses a "base unit" and a high-tech wristband or keychain to sound an alert when a child wanders too far. Other products use other technology — even satellite GPS tracking — to perform a similar function.

Some say it's a great way to give parents peace of mind. But others contend that at best, many of these systems offer a false sense of security, and at worst they represent a troubling new form of surveillance.

ionKids consists of a base unit for the parent and a child unit that comes in the form of either a tamper-resistant wristband or a keychain-like "tag."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Yesterday, I posted an article regarding this type of technology for dogs and plans to introduce similar technologies to track children and the elderly. Only one day later, one of these devices is in the headlines. Certainly, there are good reasons to keep track of pets and those who are not able to care for themselves, but the intrusion into personal privacy has given some cause to raise objection to such technology. One such group is Electronic Frontier Foundation

Related News Links:

Related Discussion Threads:
your work can track you to the strip joint via cell phone
Anyone think about cell phones as a conspiracy
Cell Phones Used to Spy on Public

[edit on 2005/12/12 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 06:20 PM
Interesting I bet that it will be Plenty of parents supporting the new idea.

I wonder when we adults will be wearing one too, occurs so our government can track us down you know in case we get lost.

Funny how this started for dogs, also parolees, now children and hey next will be all of us.

posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 06:28 PM
We've already got you covered, marg.

Thankfully the courts are still on our side. I leave my GPS tracker on my phone on all the time because I don't care who knows where I go. Of course, I can always just turn off that feature, turn off the phone, or leave it at home.

posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 06:32 PM
Grady I had not idea that Verizon was doing that, that is the wireless I use for the family.

I don't like it, can I ask them to shut this off, or is a way that I can do that my self?

I really hate the GPS in cars and the back boxes, I am very picky when it comes to some body knowing where I am going, specially if is nobody related to me.

U2 me if you can help with this.

posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 06:37 PM
I have mixed feelings on this one as a parent. When I was young I biked ALL over the place. It was MY time. Does this contribute to the person I am today? I think so. I had good times, I had problem, sometimes HUGE problems BUT I had to deal with these, without interference of my folks. I'm extremely independant. I'll bet my last dollar that my parent haven't worried about me since I was in my teens. That's not a bad thing.

I can see some applications for this but I hope this doesn't become mainstream. As to my kids? Hell NO! Not happening.

posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 06:41 PM
I also have Verizon. You can call Verizon to ask for instructions on how to make sure it is off, but I believe that phones are shipped with the feature turned off, so that you have to turn it on, thereby making it voluntary.

I have an LG phone and that feature is listed under Settings/Location. If your phone is GPS enabled and most newer phones are, it always works with 911 calls, which I believe is required by law in many jurisdicitions.

posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 06:41 PM
These are products that are sold by using fear.

Here is a link to the "teen arrive alive"demo video.

[edit on 12/12/2005 by Umbrax]

posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 07:09 PM
Maybe it's my distrustful, paranoic thinking, but it's not a big stretch to imagine that one day every newborn will routinely have a tracking device implant. Seems like it would be easy enough to do.

It's a double-edged sword, so as an across-the-board practice I wouldn't support it. Too much potential for abuse by the authorities and technically savvy bad guys. In certain situations, though, it could be very useful and solve a lot of problems. I see nothing wrong about being able to track your child, unless he/she is 35 years old
And it could be helpful in extreme cases like hardcore criminals, violent sex offenders, etc.

The technology is certainly there, and like most technologies it has the potential to be implemented in both good and bad ways. Let's hope it's used wisely and for the good ...

posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 07:53 PM
I too have mixed feelings

I have a three year old that is always wandering off and getting lost in shopping centres or on days out. Its no ones fault he just does not realise the dangers nor understand yet why he can't just wander off. He opens locked doors, climbs on top of cupboards to retrieve keys, climbs doors to use keys then escapes. To me a gps tracker for him would be ideal. but it would have to go when he got older. But then again, if someone took any of my kids I would be the first to wish that they had some kind of tracking device to find them quickly and safely. Yes is a double edged sword with no easy answers. security for my kids or freedom from big brother.. Its a hard choice to make when all I want to do is to see them grow up and be happy and healthy.

posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 11:14 PM
I think this is just a way to ease us into accepting chips as tracking devices. It is no different then the so called smart chip or verichip...many names for them....except they are not yet planted under the skin. I think they are waiting for the public to get comfortable with the idea by introducing it in a way that the focus is on our own safety. The most successful sales people play on our emotions in the same way. It is a huge snow job. I am also a parent and have never lost track of my child. This is an excuse for parents to be lazy and not watch thier own children!! you might have guessed my vote on this topic is EVIL

posted on Dec, 12 2005 @ 11:32 PM
I see this as something that could have some uses in a limited way but used evilly by parents and others who want to do too much tracking. If you grow up used to being tracked, it's almost like a form of child abuse and they'll do it to their kids as well and be used to the idea and probably not have any problem with the government tracking them as well IMO. In cases where someone needs to be tracked because they are a little kid, dog, handicapped and need assistance and could wander off, a wrist band might be useful. However I think proper supervision should be provided instead of relying on technology to find out where someone dissappeared to. As a last resort it could be useful. I don't believe parents should be using it either in most cases because it displays a lack of trust between parents and kids. If the kids figure out a way to defeat the system, they'll have their parents fooled.

What we really need a GPS system for is to track down the location of the remote. Maybe a button on the tv or a GPS system could activate a display or alarm on the remote and then we could find it no matter where it was in the house. Now that would be a useful tracking feature.

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