Tracking children using cell phones: Should parents do it?

Posted at 5:00 AM, Oct 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-08 15:27:20-04

TROY, Mich. (WXYZ) — Tracking your children is now as easy as tapping into your phone. Some parents don’t believe in tracking their kids, while others do it as a safety precaution.

Lori Carr is the mother of two teenagers, 17-year-old Myles and 16-year-old Myah Carr. Lori has been using the Life360 Appfor years now, and says she does it for safety reasons.

“Instead of calling or even getting nervous, 'Oh, is he in an accident,' I can just look,”said Carr.

The app allows her to see when her children leave the house, how fast they are driving and when they make it home. For the Carr family, it is a two way street; Myles will also monitor his family members.

“Sometimes, I’ll wake up on the weekend and no one is home and I’m like where is everyone, so I can check the app see that she is at the store,” said Myles.

“My son has actually saw that I’m at the grocery store and ask me to pick things up,” said Lori.

7 Action News reporter Ali Hoxie put a call out on Facebook to see just how many parents use these tracking apps. The majority of parents used Life360, while others used the Find A Friend App through Apple devices. The reasoning for the tracking ranged from safety reasons, monitoring driving habits or even making sure children made curfew.

“So we just look at it as another option out there for parents, and it’s really a matter of personal choice,” said Sergeant Meghan Lehman with the Troy Police Department.

Sergeant Lehman says the Troy Police Department has never had to use these apps in an emergency situation, they have other ways to track people down. While it is a personal choice, she warns that nothing beats good communication and that these apps may not always be dependable.

“A technology can fail or your child can actually disable that if they are trying to deceive you,” said Sergeant Lehman.