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Sprint helps fuel parental panic

Search local sex offenders from the palm of your hand

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Sprint has launched FamilyWatchdog Mobile, a latest family-friendly offering, allows US parents to check out maps showing where registered sex offenders live and work, and download photographs and conviction details.

Concerned parents can even receive text alerts when an offender moves into the neighbourhood.

Mobile access to such information was launched by FamilyWatchdog last month, in conjunction with the Sprint Family Locator service, which uses the GPS capability of children's handsets to track them throughout the day.

Family Locator costs $10 a month to track four handsets - you can even schedule regular reporting times to receive updates.

Checking for local offenders is free after normal data charges, but as Sprint isn't running the service it would be perverse to charge for it - the information comes from the FamilyWatchdog site, which gathers data from public records about where sex offenders live and work.

Sprint isn't just using a free service to promote Family Locator, it is also sponsoring America's Most Wanted Safety Centre, a site where concerned parents can submit questions about the safety of their children by text message. ®

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