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Surveillance Is Not Parenting

Saturday, Apr. 15, 2006 1:11 AM

Welcome to the Surveillance Society. We think nothing of putting cameras on the streets or knuckling under to fear-based rhetoric and agreeing to wiretaps that violate our civil rights.

Now Sprint is offering the amazing Family Locator, a GPS-based service that allows busy parents to track Johnny's cell phone. And Cindy Lou's. And little Jimmy. And Sally.

Yes, for a mere $10/month, you can create your own Department of Momland Security and track up to four of your untrustworthy, irresponsible scalawags as they terrorize the neighborhood. Imagine the shock on Cindy Lou's face when you confront her with the knowledge that she went to the mall instead of to music practice. Or rein in your little truant by revealing that you know not only that he cut class, but that he went to the pool hall.

You can even receive bulletins by e-mail.

Sprint is marketing the service as a family safety item, shying away from words like tracking and monitoring. Children must agree to the terms of service, and they receive notification whenever Mom (or Dad) pings them for location.

I'd like to know what happens if Junior says no. I mean, other than revealing that you don't trust your son or daughter.

And then you can contact SkyTel and put their Skyguard service in the family car.

Look, if your kids are so untrustworthy as to require a GPS tracking device, it's not like this is going to turn them into model citizens.

Technology is not a substitute for parenting.

The Ministry has received 1 comment(s) on this topic.

Brin - 2006-04-15 03:15:15
My friend, I could not agree with you more. When *I* was a kid, our parents took the time to actually teach us our do's and don'ts and until I reached the age where I was trustworthy enough to climb into a car with a boy and go on a date, the rule was I either had to be at my grandmother's house (two blocks to the other side of my elementary schoolgrounds), my friends's house (where I was to be reachable by a phone number at any time OR ELSE) somewhere within shouting distance after the sun went down, and within sight of the house during full dark. Back in MY day, we had values called parental respect and common sense. Why are kids today so squishy and belligerent? fastening a tag on them won't fix that, it will just prove what time they shoplifted.