GPS tracking fights teenage trauma
I was at the sweet shop, honest
Mobile phones and GPS tracking technology have been combined to track the whereabouts of unruly children, as part of a study into the health risks posed to tech teens.
In the study, 15 teenage girls were tracked by their mobile phones for one week. The researchers claim the study wasn’t designed to provide parents with information about where, say, Charlotte actually was when she was supposed to be home for tea.
Instead, the information is being compiled to study the health risks posed to teenagers. As the girls took their phones with them wherever they went, the teenagers’ movements could be accurately plotted on a map.
Dr Sarah Wiehe, who led the research, said that mobile phones and GPS technology help parents to better understand “where adolescents spend their time and what they’re doing”.
She claimed that, by studying teenagers' movements, parents will be able to intervene at points where their kids are most likely to, say, drink alcohol or smoke. Presumably parents will also know when their kids are at Make Out Point or hanging around on street corners, possibly with biker gangs.
Suspicious wives, or husbands, can already use GPS tracking technology to keep tabs on wayward partners. The Social Network Integrated Friend Finder (SNIFF) application can be accessed through Facebook or a mobile phone to provide users with a detailed map of someone’s location, or at least the location of their mobile phone.
SNIFF, created by US firm Useful Networks, can only be used if someone gives their permission for their whereabouts to be tracked. Each GPS tracking request costs 75p (€1/$2).
Re: Dysfunctional parents seek help of nosy scientists
"No small wonder teens are becoming the most violent group in the society, they are never trusted or respected, they are spied on like gulag prisoners, exposed to pest control devices, no one except the commerical world bothers to spend time with them and what great parents the media corps are with their fantasy image building."
No, the reason they're so bl**dy violent is that we're afraid to do anything to stop them. No more clips round the ear -- not even a stern talking to.
Young kids test their boundaries all the time, but if we don't react, those boundaries are never reached. As far as the kids are concerned, anything goes. By the teenage years these patterns are pretty fixed.
Teen behaviour is not the problem: child behaviour is.
Tracking teens is shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, thrown all four shoes and disappeared into the New Forest.
Can't they out think this?
I really fear for the species if the nippers cannot think of ways to fool this.
Any kid dumb enough to get copped by this would just give the correct answer when the parents ask "where did you go today?".
A few notes on GPS (having recently been in that industry). Many of the newer fancier implementations work pretty well indoors, even in thick multi-storey concrete parking structures etc.
Some (eg. Snaptrack) hardly use any power and just sniff the RF and send data back to a server for processing.
Ultimately, technology is a poor substitute to parental caring.
What about phone forwarding?
They just forward phone/SMS traffic through to a second phone (cheap handset, PAYG SIM?) and stick the GPS-enabled phone on a bus/a friend's car/ slung between the dorsal guiding feathers of a couple of European swallows.
The phone would move about, the Parents / researchers wouldn't think anything was wrong, and they could still get in touch with their kids over the normal phone number. Meanwhile the kids are busy wandering the streets, beating up old ladies and generally getting off their mash on ecstacy pipes.
GPS in phones isn't always that bad- my HTC Artemis is accurate to a couple of meters outdoors and keeps fixed pretty accurately even at speeds exceeding UK motorway speed limits.
One of the main problems with GPS in phones, though, is that it'll chew through batteries, so the kids will be able to be out of the house with their phones working for a whole hour or so.