Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Mobile IoT

Mobile IoT: Article

Tracking Your Children with GPS - Do you have the right?

Tracking Your Children with GPS - Do you have the right?

Modern technology means we can track our children, but do we have the right to know where they are, and do they have the right to keep their location from us?

Parents may not be able to keep their children in sight at all times, but GPS technology allows them to track their location almost anywhere. Many emerging products focus on children. With either existing GPS technology or that which one day may find its way onto the retail shelves, parents will be able to keep track of teenagers' use of cars, to know how fast the teens have been driving, or to find them when they do not return from a date by 11 in the evening.

Little children can be given a bracelet to track their movements and help frantic parents when they get lost in the mall. An online retailer advertises a GPS-connected wristwatch that enables a parent to locate a child within a minute by making a simple telephone call. The same technology is available for your puppy's collar, by the way. Some have even hypothesized the implanting of a chip into little children that could be read by GPS in the event of a kidnapping.

At some point, a teenager just might tell mom and dad to forget the tracking and count on the teen calling home. Every household will grapple with this issue in its own way, but what does the law have to say about a child's right to privacy from GPS tracking by parents?

Do These Products Raise Legal Issues?
Children do have privacy rights, just like adults, although even the most important constitutional rights of children may be limited because of their minority status. I have found that virtually nothing specific to GPS and children has been legislated, nor has much been written about the subject. In contrast, concerns about children's privacy have been raised in other areas. There have been outcries in Europe about identity cards that might carry such data as health information about a child. In this country, the Children's Privacy Protection Act of 1998 limits the ways Web site operators and others may collect and disseminate information pertaining to customers under the age of 13.

But those concerns relate to protecting children from privacy invasions by outsiders, not by their parents. In contrast, GPS chiefly raises issues in the realm of parent-child relationships. One area where the parent-child relationship has collided with privacy concerns is the medical arena, especially with the controversial and politically charged issue of abortion. But neither the legislation nor judicial decisions arising out of such issues provide clear rules for GPS.

Is there any guidance for GPS manufacturers or tech-confident parents? With nothing on record, we have to step back to basics.

Parental Rights
Traditionally, a child is considered legally an adult at 21, but each state is free to legislate that limit to be 18 or some other number, and free to set it differently for different things. In this day and age, where children are often more technologically savvy than their parents, such laws may seem an anachronism. Regardless, one must first find out what the local rules are in the state where the child resides.

Contrary to there being any clear rules protecting children from parents using surveillance devices on them, the law generally runs in the other direction. Parents have the legal right to extensive control over their children, and that would include the right to govern where the children go. Children, on the other hand, generally owe a legal duty of obedience to their parents. These rights by and large are not taken away from parents except in instances of parental neglect and abuse; absent that, a parent has great latitude.

Indeed, the courts, from the United States Supreme Court on down, have recognized that children are different than adults when it comes to rights. In the 1979 Bellotti case, the Supreme Court said: "We have recognized three reasons justifying the conclusion that the constitutional rights of children cannot be equated with those of adults: the peculiar vulnerability of children; their inability to make critical decisions in an informed, mature manner; and the importance of the parental role in child rearing." That leads, in the Supreme Court's view, to a tradition in the United States of enforcing parental authority unless there are exceptional circumstances.

The courts have gone against that tradition and limited parental rights in such areas as abortion. But that is done only after paying great deference to the rights of the parents and determining there is, in the court's view, a more important issue at stake.

One area where parental rights have been limited slightly involves "location," if not GPS. Generally, the courts allow youth curfew statutes, even against the wishes of parents. But those decisions would not likely stand in the way of parents wanting to track the whereabouts of their children. If anything, they support the notion that children may be limited in their locational rights.

The Bottom Line
While there is little law on the subject, a parent's desire to track a teenager's auto usage or keep a young child from getting lost will not likely present strong enough breaches of any right of privacy to cause the courts to interfere. Rather than look to the courts for relief, teens will have to resort to old-fashioned negotiation with mom or dad to be freed of GPS tracking.

More Stories By Stephen N. Roberts

Stephen N. Roberts is a partner in the San Francisco office of Nossaman Guthner Knox and Elliott LLP where he has a general business litigation practice. His work focuses on public contracts, and related infrastructure and public law issues, including privacy and open records laws. Steve has chaired the ITS America Legal Issues Committee task force on privacy.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
kevin brown 12/29/03 03:17:57 PM EST

Followus? offers the UK?s first multi-network Commercial Location Service using Cell Location technologies

Followus Ltd, (?Followus?) the UK?s premier cell location provider, is pleased to announce that it is able to pin-point location of standard mobile phones using its unique software coding technologies. This location is then delivered to the Commercial Customer on a street map via the Followus? website.

This revolutionary development enables Followus? to offer the location of a mobile phone within 80 meters in some urban areas without the need for high cost GPS solutions that are presently offered in the market place.

To activate the service, the commercial customer need only register at the Followus? web site or contact Followus? directly. Thereafter, the telephone numbers for the mobile phones that the customer wishes to locate will be verified by Followus?, to ensure that no unauthorised location or misuse can take place. We have in-built approved processes to ensure privacy is protected. Once activated, the Followus? server will when requested, pull raw location data from the mobile device and calculate the position, before importing it into a street map and delivering to the customer.

Martin Brown, Commercial Director for Followus? said: ?We are delighted with the market response to our Followus? Location Service. Put simply, we have enabled our Followus? customers to locate their company mobile phones without the need for them to pay for additional high cost GPS hardware solutions nor incur additional installation costs ? So long as they have company mobile phones, then we can locate them!

This is a real answer to the problem of delivering a safe working environment for employees who work ?in-the-field?, particularly as HSE requirements tighten. Our development has swung open the barn door and will enable both large and small companies to introduce location information into their businesses and mobile workforces, at a low cost, which is fully scalable.

We also offer a Followus Location Device that is small enough to be placed in valuable packages or can be used in conjunction with vehicles, trailers, plant machinery?the options are endless.

What?s? more, we can charge our customers on a Pay-As-You-Go basis; this is an extremely cost effective way to introduce location services into your company. It simply does not get any better if you Followus? ?.

ENQUIRIES

Followus Limited
Martin Brown - Commercial Director 0845 2309751
Operational Dynamics:
Kevin M Brown ? Operations Director 0845 2309751

ABOUT FOLLOWUS? www.followus.co.uk
Followus? is a ground breaking location delivery company using advanced cell mast location technologies within the UK.

Followus? is a wholly owned, based and financed company within the UK and has valuable experience of operations within the automotive and haulage market sectors. Followus? has launched its advanced Asset Location Device that can be applied to locate anything from plant machinery to packages and it?s know-how also extends bespoke turn-key location solutions.

Followus? is backed by more than 15 years combined experience in advanced location developments with its officers previously operating in both government and commercial fields. Most importantly Followus? is delivering real solutions now.

Look out for the Followus? location solutions to be offered into the Retail Market later this year.

Enquiries:
Followus Limited
PO Box 730, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 4ED
Tel: +44 (0)845 230 9751
Fax: +44 (0)870 429 2712
Website : www.followus.co.uk
Email : [email protected]
Registered in England and Wales No. 4630013

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to great conferences, helping you discover new conferences and increase your return on investment.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Silicon India has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Published in Silicon Valley, Silicon India magazine is the premiere platform for CIOs to discuss their innovative enterprise solutions and allows IT vendors to learn about new solutions that can help grow their business.
We are seeing a major migration of enterprises applications to the cloud. As cloud and business use of real time applications accelerate, legacy networks are no longer able to architecturally support cloud adoption and deliver the performance and security required by highly distributed enterprises. These outdated solutions have become more costly and complicated to implement, install, manage, and maintain.SD-WAN offers unlimited capabilities for accessing the benefits of the cloud and Internet. ...
Founded in 2000, Chetu Inc. is a global provider of customized software development solutions and IT staff augmentation services for software technology providers. By providing clients with unparalleled niche technology expertise and industry experience, Chetu has become the premiere long-term, back-end software development partner for start-ups, SMBs, and Fortune 500 companies. Chetu is headquartered in Plantation, Florida, with thirteen offices throughout the U.S. and abroad.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "IoT Now" was named media sponsor of CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO 2018 New York, which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.