Feeds

Verizon unveils offspring surveillance service

Don't trust your kids? Track 'em down with Family Locator

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Verizon Wireless had added a new service that puts a 21st century spin on Orwell's Big Brother, ushering in a brave new world of surveillance monitored by Big Mother and Big Father.

The service, entitled Family Locator and available to subscribers on Verizon's Family SharePlan for an extra $9.99 per month, enables helicopter moms and dads to keep close tabs on junior and sissy's whereabouts by tapping the location services of those untrusted kids' Verizon handsets.

"Peace of mind is right at your fingertips," says Verizon's marketing blurb for Family Locator – but we can say with a strong degree of certainty that the promised peace of mind doesn't extend to children whose every move is being tracked and displayed on their parents' PC or handset.

And not only are family members' locations tracked on an "interactive map" in a browser or smartphone app. Their comings and goings can be tracked as well, with kid-tracking parents receiving alerts when their kids – or, for that matter, their mates – stray from a user-defined radius.

Or, as Verizon puts it, "Arrival and Departure Updates send location messages when the person carrying the Locatee cell phone arrives or departs from a Location that you specify." Your Reg reporter has called his daughters many things over the years, but "Locatee" is a new one for him.

Verizon Family Locator: 'Keep an Eye on Your Teenage Driver'

A Verizon video provides more details of the doting helicopter parent's new intelligence agent

Do you have a teenage driver in your family? Family Locator can betray their driving habits, as well, letting parents know not only where they are, but how fast they're driving – and it allows said parent to message them, telling them, for example, to slow the hell down.

Should a parent or child want to drive to the Location of a Locatee, and if they subscribe to Verizon's VZ Navigator – a "fully loaded next generation GPS" – they can obtain turn-by-turn directions to track them down.

Family Locator also allows its users to schedule check-ins at specific times of the day, notifying a parent, for example, if their li'l princess did indeed arrive at the library promptly at 4pm as she promised she would.

"With Family Locator," Verizon writes, "you'll never lose sight of who is most important to you," whether your target is a daughter whom you've warned not to ever visit that school chum's house, a son whom you've ordered not to stand on that street corner, or even a wandering spouse whom you've begged to never visit that ex-honey ever, ever again.

Of course, phones can be turned off – but woe betide the Locatee who doesn't have a good excuse as to why they attempted to escape from the ever-watchful eye of Family Locator. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
MOST iPhone strokers SPURN iOS 8: iOS 7 'un-updatening' in 5...4...
Guess they don't like our battery-draining update?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.