So, AT&T has joined it's competitors in offering a GPS locator service. It's touted as a method of keeping track of wayward teens, but it has the internet, especially the blogosphere, all abuzz.

First off, the person being tracked, may not know that they are being tracked. I think that's odd. If I am tracking a family member's (especially a spouse) location and they aren't aware of it, that seems to me to be a serious breach of confidence. I can't think of a single circumstance where that would be okay for me.

Second off, the phone doesn't necessarily need GPS capabilities. If it's a non GPS phone, they will just use the cell tower locations, giving you a general location. But if it is a GPS phone, they can pinpoint the location right down to the address.

I guess it's useful if you share a cell account with folks (even teens) that you have no trust in. But, outside of the obvious instances where it could be used to track missing people, I have no need for this feature. Besides, it's expensive. Luckily, I can simply call or text everyone in my home and ask their location and have a reasonable expectation of getting the truth.

What about you? Am I missing something here? Is this a great thing? Would you use it?

Your comments--priceless!!

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6 Responses
  1. It's supposed to be another version of social networking. You and your friends can converge for lunch because you see that you are relatively close. It's probably a very fun app when you are ages 16-24.

    There are already apps like loopt ( and now Google Latitude ( can give you that Maxwell sensation--i.e. I always feel like somebody's watching me!

  2. catladysd Says:

    I'm thinking if i trust my teen that little, why am i allowing them out and about without supervision? As to using it to track a husband, maybe it is time for couple counseling!

    I grew up under the spectre of 'big brother' is watching. now it seems with these devices, the government relaxing rules as to listening and watching, etc that perhaps 'big brother' has finally arrived.

    personally, i'm in favor of privacy!

  3. Katz Scratch Says:

    I'm all social networked out! Letting law enforcement have access to this type of device is great, I think.

    I remember stages in my life when I lied to my mother about my whereabouts, became overly consumed with my husband's whereabouts and paced the floor waiting on my sons to come home. Trust - you either have it or you don't. If you don't, you need a life change, not a GPS.

  4. Eden ~ Lil Ejypt Says:

    Well...I have mixed feelings. First off, I have daughters. Now, there was a time when my now 23 year old daughter was 17 and she disappeared for about 5 days. I'd have given anything at that time for her to have a cell phone and for that phone to have had this capability.

    My now 15 year old also ran away from home once...for about 6 hours. Fortunately, she is predictable and I found her at the home of friends from church.

    I used to live a pretty wild life in my youth after 'breaking out' of a very, very sheltered upbringing. As dramatic and unbelievable as it sounds, when I was 18 I was tricked by a good looking guy who after sitting in a local park smoking weed with me and chatting me up, took me to Hollywood, informed me that he was a pimp and tried to force me into prostitution. I had no clue this was not just a trip to go kick it up in the 'Wood and party, until he rented a room, brought a couple of other girls who worked for him there, and told me what the deal was. He had no clue that I was born in L.A., spent every summer there from age 13-17, and had family members there and by the grace of God, I was able to get to my family.

    Sometimes it isn't about whether we trust our children. When it comes to my man, I'd think if we had that application he'd probably know it. And if I got into an accident on a back road somewhere out in the boonies--and I've had ocassion to be in such places--I'd hope that application was available on my phone to give somebody an idea where to look when I didn't show up for dinner...

  5. LUVA Says:

    You can disable that feature so only 911 can track you. That's what I've done with my Sprint phone.

  6. There was a local story about a young woman who was in an accident and her car went off the road into a wooded area. She was missing for days before anyone found her. Her injuries were ultimately fatal, but may not have been if she had this type of feature.

    Because you can choose who watches you, I am ok with it for key family & friends.

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