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Tech

Tech Report: New App Tracks Kids Without Them Knowing

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An Apple iPhone 5. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

An Apple iPhone 5. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

LarryMagid01-228 Larry Magid
Larry Magid is a technology journalist and an Internet safe...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — A company called If You Can has launched a new app to help parents monitor the whereabouts of their children. The app, called “CatchMe“, lets parents track their kids, presumably using GPS and other location systems.

The app runs in stealth mode, which is my first problem with it. It’s not like the “Find My Friends” iPhone app, where users can opt in to allow others to monitor.

If your kid is old enough to have a smartphone, it strikes me that they are old enough to at least be informed whether they’re being tracked. It’s really questionable to me, but I think the average parent should at least think twice before installing this app in their kids’ smartphone.

You need to talk to your kids and touch base with them. I know there are exceptions with kids that are considered at-risk, but I would suggest if you are considering this to use an app that does not run in stealth mode, where the kid knows its running.

A parent could say in exchange for the knowledge of the tracking device, maybe you won’t call as much or bug them to give them some sort of sense of freedom.

In this case, I think spying on your kids could be counterproductive. When I grew up I got on my bike and went about my day and I turned out fine. I think parents need to consider the consequences before they become overly controlling.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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