It’s a touchy question. Is it ethical to track our children with GPS tracking devices? Certainly, most people can understand using a tracking device on an autistic child, or a similar situation where the child is in particular danger of wandering. But what about tracking teens in order to verify there whereabouts? The waters get murkier and opinions vary widely.
The startribune.com advice columnist, Amy Dickinson writes: “I am completely, totally and utterly opposed to installing tracking or monitoring technology on kids’ devices without their knowledge. … You cannot use technology to mitigate the work (or risks) of parenting. … You should confirm their whereabouts the old-fashioned way — by getting to know their friends, calling their parents to verify plans, and by driving them from place to place and occasionally showing up early.”
Candice Chencellor, from carrollcountytimes.com writes: “We were initially apprehensive about doing this; we didn’t want them to feel that they were being spied on, or that we don’t trust them. It has, however, given me peace of mind. We are able to pinpoint the exact location of their cell phones at all times. As a mother of two teenagers, I respect their privacy but feel entitled to know their whereabouts.”
Surely the intention of parents using GPS tracking devices to monitor their children is to protect them. Parents want to know where their children are so that if something goes wrong, they can come to the rescue. Even parents who are tracking their children to “spy” on them, are likely doing so to make sure they aren’t getting into perceived dangerous situations. Let us know where you stand on this issue in the comments!