Trust is vital for a child’s development, and every parent wants their child to feel comfortable telling them about their concerns.
As adults, we know the value of trust. We’ve all experienced a friend gossiping behind our backs and know that broken trust is difficult to repair. The trust between you and your child is no different.
GPS tracking your child’s location raises a lot of questions around trust and how much surveillance is too much when it comes to our kids.
We all want our kids to be safe, but there are some things to be mindful of when tracking their location, especially when it comes to the devices you use.
This post will run through what to be mindful of when considering a GPS tracker for your child, as well as how the right tracker can be a useful tool when it comes to their overall safety.
When surveillance becomes a problem
Not all GPS devices for kids are created equally, with some posing serious safety concerns for your child’s privacy.
UNICEF states that “the law must protect children’s privacy, family, home, communications and reputation” and “when adults make decisions, they should think about how their decisions will affect children”.
With this in mind, the below features on some kids’ smartwatches and tracking devices take away a child’s right to privacy, can destroy their sense of trust and pose a serious safety risk.
Remote microphone and camera activation:
Some smartphone watches allow parents to remotely access the camera and microphone, letting them see and hear what their child is up to without their knowledge.
Not only is this incredibly violating but can also damage the trust children have in their parents, which can be incredibly difficult to repair.
If your child is with friends and you’re worried about what’s going on when you’re not around, encourage your child to talk to you whenever their friends make them uncomfortable.
This will be especially important in their teenage years, so setting the foundation for open communication now is a far better option that listening in on their conversations without their knowledge.
Viewing text and call history via an app:
Most kids smartwatches have an accompanying app, where the watches settings are controlled by a parent or guardian.
Some of these apps let parents read the text messages kids are sending from the watch, often without the child’s knowledge.
These days, that’s the equivalent of finding out your mum read your diary- not cool!
Selling data to third parties:
There’s no shortage of reports of companies selling user data to third parties and unfortunately children’s data is no exception.
This data includes information such as your child’s name, phone number, age and gender as well as location data of their home and school.
Not all watch and tracker companies do their due diligence to keep the data of children safe. Selling data is big business and some people don’t care about putting kids safety at risk.
How Spacetalk’s GPS tracking works to keep kids safe
GPS tracking your child is not a bad thing. It can be a useful tool to help kids develop independence in a safe way and is the backbone of many of our important safety features.
Location on demand lets you check their location any time, or you can choose to have updates sent to your phone at intervals from every five minutes to every hour. Safe Zones use GPS to let you know when your child has arrived at school or is on their way home.
SOS Alerts give you your child’s location in an emergency so you can navigate to them quickly.
Unlike other companies, we never allow parents to remotely access the microphone or camera remotely or read text messages.
How Spacetalk protects your child’s privacy
Data storage: Your personal information will always be stored domestically within Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, depending on your location, on highly secure, encrypted servers.
Data selling: Spacetalk will never sell data to third parties- it’s as simple as that.
Data protection: We will take all reasonable steps to protect your personal data from misuse, interference, loss, unauthorised access, modification and unlawful disclosure. Personal data that is no longer needed is deleted or anonymised.
Our location tracking features exist to keep kids safe while giving parent’s peace of mind.
By empowering parents with the tools to see where their children are, we’re giving them the confidence to let kids go out and build independence.