Parent Apps Demand Increasing to track what kids are doing Online
Nearly 80% Teenagers in United States own Mobile Phones and more than half people use Smart phones. Many parents are worried about there childrens as these teenagers have access to games, cameras, Internet and Social Media.
These fears are leading to increasing number of parent apps to track what kids are doing online. Recently Parent App TeenSafe is used for personal CIA spy for parents. The company urges parents to tell their children they are being monitored, but the app can work covertly and show what kids are posting on social media as well as deleted texts and messages sent via popular apps such as WhatsApp, Kik, and Snapchat.
Teensafe (http://www.teensafe.com/ )
Teensafe allows parents to monitor their children’s online activity, including deleted messages. “It’s absolutely legal for a parent to do this discreetly,” says TeenSafe’s chief executive Rawdon Messenger. Mr Messenger says he believes about half the families who use TeenSafe use it to spy on their kids.
TeenSafe operates in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and is hoping to expand to the UK soon. Since it started in 2011, it says it has more than 800,000 people sign up for the service.
Another App used to Spy Childrens is Mamabear (http://mamabearapp.com/ )
Mamabear’s developers say their service is often used by parents who have just given their child their first smart phone. Aside from tracking social media use and texting, other parent apps can actually monitor how fast someone is driving or moving in a vehicle as a passenger.
MamaBear offers that service, and co-founder Robyn Spoto says the app is used to link entire families and send alerts when someone is driving above the speed limit or has ventured outside a pre-determined boundary. It cannot be used covertly.
Teenagers are typically better at using technology than their parents, and apps such as these can create a cat-and-mouse game of kids trying to avoid prying eyes.
But the parent apps are prepared – if your child does not call you back or turns the phone off, you can disable the phone so it only works to call mum or dad.
Last year the FBI arrested a man for distributing an app called StealthGenie, which intercepted emails and texts as well as recorded phone calls.
StealthGenie promoted the fact that it could run on a device without its user being aware Prosecutors highlighted that the software was marketed as being “undetectable” and suggested it was designed for “stalkers and domestic abusers”.
In the first ever criminal conviction of its kind, Hammad Akbar was subsequently fined $500,000 (£332,840) after pleading guilty to advertising and selling the app.
Smartphone monitoring services are, however, legal to use in the US, so long as the software is installed on a device used by either the Customer’s:
Child – who must be under 18 years old.
Employee – so long as the worker has given their consent and been told they are being Monitored.
Several available products highlight their restrictions in their small print, even if, Occasionally, they also market their “cheating spouse”-catching potential.
“As far as the UK is concerned, the use of ‘stalker apps’ could very easily land you on the Wrong side of the UK Data Protection Act 1998 and other applicable UK laws ,” According to Vin Bange from the law firm Taylor Wessing.