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Last post Author Topic: Am I the only person that has a real big problem with software like this?  (Read 22007 times)

40hz

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Recently saw this on the alternativeTo website:

Quote
MobiPast
Free with limited functionality by Pierre Fontaine

Remotely monitor your children's mobiles. MobiPast allows you to secretly check the copy of their activities directly on mobipast application! Free functions: - GPS locations (FREE) See the GPS locations of the mobile device on a map. - Internet (FREE) Receive the history of websites visited from the mobile device. - Contacts (FREE) Receive the list of contacts saved on the mobile device. - Passcode (FREE) Capture the passcode to access to the mobile device...

 :-\

edbro

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I have no problem with it at all. I do have a problem with parents that don't monitor what their kids are doing.

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It's one thing to have an explicit agreement with your young kids that you are going to be monitoring their online/mobile activity in exchange for them getting such a device.  But doing it secretly seems like it's teaching them some wrong lessons.

wraith808

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I have no problem with it at all. I do have a problem with parents that don't monitor what their kids are doing.

This.

It's one thing to have an explicit agreement with your young kids that you are going to be monitoring their online/mobile activity in exchange for them getting such a device.  But doing it secretly seems like it's teaching them some wrong lessons.

Not necessarily true.  I see what you're saying.  But there's also the other side of what a child does under the scrutiny of an adult vs. not.  If you tell them you're going to be monitoring them, you've already poisoned the well.  And when you *can't* monitor them, you then don't know what they'll do.

40hz

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I have no problem with it at all.

Interesting. Wonder if this is one of those "regional" things.

wraith808

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Do you think that you should not know what your child is doing on the internet/mobile?

Edvard

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I could (and probably will... later) say quite a lot on this subject, but let me just say this:
When I was working customer service for Sprint, if I had a dime for every time someone called about a tracking app for their child's phone because they were lost/out with less-than-trustworthy friends/run away/suspected of drug dealing/etc, I wouldn't have needed their meager paycheck.  Well, maybe it wasn't that bad, but still...

TaoPhoenix

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I do have a prob with "monitoring" ... wait for it ... kids!

That's right, because it's a kid it's suddenly okay?! Oh look, 18th birthday. You think the power trip will wear off?!

You ask the kid where he's going, you ask him later where he went, and no one really cares the few min in between.


Renegade

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John buys a phone. He owns it. He pays the bills for it. He installs an app on it.

Is anything wrong so far?

He allows his child to use the phone.

Nuff said?

There is some seriously dark, vile, evil crap out there that isn't really appropriate for just about anyone, much less children.

How many 10 year old children aren't curious? I'm willing to be that world-wide you can count them on your left hand and have fingers left over.

How many kids would be interested in "animal snuff movies" if they heard about them? Probably quite a few. After all, who doesn't love animal movies?

Chatrooms? They're always safe places, right? Sure! Only children hang out in kids' chatrooms.

Oh, and spammers and phishers NEVER send text messages to phones that children use. "Click here to SMS 1-900-PAY-MORE and hear from Justin Bieber as he tells you about his drunken exploits. $999 per SMS." No. Those never end up on kids' phones. And kids NEVER click phishing links or anything like that.


I don't think it's a problem for parents to monitor their children - I think it's DUTY to monitor them.
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panzer

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I don't think it's a problem for parents to monitor their children - I think it's DUTY to monitor them.


If you don't monitor them in some way or another (btw, children are very vulnerable group, as we all know), who are you going to blame but yourself when you get a phone call asking you to go to the morgue to recognize the body of your child that was raped and dumped in some alley?

People are weird. They will always say:"Well, this happens to others and not to me." Guess what? It could happen to you, you know. Better that it doesn't, but it could.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2013, 03:45:41 AM by panzer »

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Re: Am I the only person that has a real big problem with software like this?
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2013, 06:47:17 AM »
I think we have a serious scale issue going on here, between black and white/all or none assertion. How many people remember the old commercials with the tag line "It's 10 O'clock...do you know where your children are?" Here's a hint for those that don't remember them...they're from the 1970s!

Now, Orwell time - the scale part kicks in. In the 1970s it was simply a matter of asking the kids where they were going, who they were going with...and paying attention to the GD answer. That was called parenting. But our society has devolved to the point where there isn't time to pay proper attention to much of anything so why not offload the whole parenting responsibility crap on technology! YEAH! Let the computer keep track of the little monsters...I don't have time.

Seriously???

Have we really sunk to the point where Orwellian monitoring of our children is considered proper? Instead of taking the time to build a rapport of respect and trust with them??!?

The real key problem here is that if the kid has a GPS target painted on their back, then they're just as easy for anyone to find...and not all anyones have said child's best interests in mind. But yet we have obviously been trained to accept the idea of Big Brother-esq monitoring systems as righteous and good ... Because it's... For. The. Children.

The fact of the matter is that if the kid wants to get lost. They're going to get lost. technology be damned.

tomos

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Re: Am I the only person that has a real big problem with software like this?
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2013, 07:15:38 AM »
I think we have a serious scale issue going on here, between black and white/all or none assertion.
^
I'd agree.

Have we really sunk to the point where Orwellian monitoring of our children is considered proper? Instead of taking the time to build a rapport of respect and trust with them??!?
-
I have mixed feelings about this whole issue - but in fairness SJ, monitoring does *not* exclude "taking the time to build a rapport of respect and trust with them".
I think if your kids dont talk to you about things that they see/experience that they might find uncomfortable or worse, you're both in trouble anyway, monitoring or no :-(
Tom

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Re: Am I the only person that has a real big problem with software like this?
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2013, 07:33:06 AM »
Have we really sunk to the point where Orwellian monitoring of our children is considered proper? Instead of taking the time to build a rapport of respect and trust with them??!?
-
I have mixed feelings about this whole issue - but in fairness SJ, monitoring does *not* exclude "taking the time to build a rapport of respect and trust with them".
I think if your kids dont talk to you about things that they see/experience that they might find uncomfortable or worse, you're both in trouble anyway, monitoring or no :-(

I hear Ya man ... But it's a theory vs. practice game. In theory it doesn't...but in practice *Sigh*

Renegade

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Re: Am I the only person that has a real big problem with software like this?
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2013, 07:40:40 AM »
I think we have a serious scale issue going on here, between black and white/all or none assertion. How many people remember the old commercials with the tag line "It's 10 O'clock...do you know where your children are?" Here's a hint for those that don't remember them...they're from the 1970s!

Now, Orwell time - the scale part kicks in. In the 1970s it was simply a matter of asking the kids where they were going, who they were going with...and paying attention to the GD answer. That was called parenting. But our society has devolved to the point where there isn't time to pay proper attention to much of anything so why not offload the whole parenting responsibility crap on technology! YEAH! Let the computer keep track of the little monsters...I don't have time.

Seriously???

Have we really sunk to the point where Orwellian monitoring of our children is considered proper? Instead of taking the time to build a rapport of respect and trust with them??!?

The real key problem here is that if the kid has a GPS target painted on their back, then they're just as easy for anyone to find...and not all anyones have said child's best interests in mind. But yet we have obviously been trained to accept the idea of Big Brother-esq monitoring systems as righteous and good ... Because it's... For. The. Children.

The fact of the matter is that if the kid wants to get lost. They're going to get lost. technology be damned.

Too many good points in there!


How many people remember the old commercials with the tag line "It's 10 O'clock...do you know where your children are?"

No comment. :P

(Did you really expect me to be ALL serious? 8) )

In the 1970s it was simply a matter of asking the kids where they were going, who they were going with...and paying attention to the GD answer. That was called parenting.


Err, umm...


In the 1970s it was simply a matter of asking the kids where they were going, who they were going with...and paying attention to the GD answer. That was called parenting.


I think that needed to be repeated.


In the 1970s it was simply a matter of asking the kids where they were going, who they were going with...and paying attention to the GD answer. That was called parenting.

And 2 repetitions probably wouldn't hurt.

So, a hearty +1!

A lot of people somehow seem to think that parenting is the responsibility of 3 parties:

1) The TV
2) The Internet
3) The schools/teachers/state

I don't think further comment on that is required.


But our society has devolved to the point where there isn't time to pay proper attention to much of anything so why not offload the whole parenting responsibility crap on technology! YEAH! Let the computer keep track of the little monsters...I don't have time.

Seriously???

Yep. Sadly, seriously.

But to be somewhat charitable and give the benefit of the doubt, I think you'll find my next bit probably overly generous.

How many families REQUIRE 2 incomes to keep the house running?

Kids are a LOT of work. Running a house is a lot of work.

Is an economy where it's a basic necessity for survivial that both parents work a good thing?

No further comment. We can continue that in the basement.


Have we really sunk to the point where Orwellian monitoring of our children is considered proper? Instead of taking the time to build a rapport of respect and trust with them??!?

This goes back to parents having no time because they're busy trying to pay property tax, income tax, inflated utility bills, put food on the table, pay rent or pay for a mortgage, make car payments because there are no jobs near where they live, etc. etc. etc. etc.

What would you rather do?

Go to work, or stay home and play with the kids?

Stay up late reading over a few thousand pages of tax laws so that you are minimally informed, or help your kids with their homework?

etc. etc. etc.

The real key problem here is that if the kid has a GPS target painted on their back, then they're just as easy for anyone to find...and not all anyones have said child's best interests in mind.

Which is all the more reason to take technology into consideration when keeping track of your kids -- because you know the bad guys are using it as well. :(


But yet we have obviously been trained to accept the idea of Big Brother-esq monitoring systems as righteous and good ... Because it's... For. The. Children.

They're not righteous and they're not good. Monitoring is monitoring.

But I think we kind of need to break this down a bit more by age category. Children at 5, 7, 11, 13, and 17 are all very different. You cannot treat them all the same. (I love prime numbers!)

So what is appropriate for an 11-year old isn't appropriate for a 17-year old.

The fact of the matter is that if the kid wants to get lost. They're going to get lost. technology be damned.

Yep. 100% there. Kids are great at figuring ways around things. I know this very well because I was one of them, and I'm betting SJ was too! ;) 8)
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wraith808

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Re: Am I the only person that has a real big problem with software like this?
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2013, 07:45:42 AM »
I think we have a serious scale issue going on here, between black and white/all or none assertion. How many people remember the old commercials with the tag line "It's 10 O'clock...do you know where your children are?" Here's a hint for those that don't remember them...they're from the 1970s!

Now, Orwell time - the scale part kicks in. In the 1970s it was simply a matter of asking the kids where they were going, who they were going with...and paying attention to the GD answer. That was called parenting. But our society has devolved to the point where there isn't time to pay proper attention to much of anything so why not offload the whole parenting responsibility crap on technology! YEAH! Let the computer keep track of the little monsters...I don't have time.

Seriously???

Have we really sunk to the point where Orwellian monitoring of our children is considered proper? Instead of taking the time to build a rapport of respect and trust with them??!?

The real key problem here is that if the kid has a GPS target painted on their back, then they're just as easy for anyone to find...and not all anyones have said child's best interests in mind. But yet we have obviously been trained to accept the idea of Big Brother-esq monitoring systems as righteous and good ... Because it's... For. The. Children.

The fact of the matter is that if the kid wants to get lost. They're going to get lost. technology be damned.

We take the time to build the rapport.   My children are homeschooled for just that reason.  And yes, for all of the talking, tracking, etc., there are still dangers that we won't be able to protect them from.  But as long as they're under 18, I will give them every chance that I can to get to that age.  And every bit of experience, knowledge, and education that I can in order that once they are there, they can have developed enough minds to be able to weigh the choices before them and make their own decision.  Not my decision, and definitely not someone else's decision.  But their own.

Renegade

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Re: Am I the only person that has a real big problem with software like this?
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2013, 08:07:07 AM »
We take the time to build the rapport.   My children are homeschooled for just that reason.  And yes, for all of the talking, tracking, etc., there are still dangers that we won't be able to protect them from.  But as long as they're under 18, I will give them every chance that I can to get to that age.  And every bit of experience, knowledge, and education that I can in order that once they are there, they can have developed enough minds to be able to weigh the choices before them and make their own decision.  Not my decision, and definitely not someone else's decision.  But their own.

It sounds like you're raising your kids to be adults. ;) Props to you!  :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup:
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app103

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Re: Am I the only person that has a real big problem with software like this?
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2013, 09:42:03 AM »
Not necessarily true.  I see what you're saying.  But there's also the other side of what a child does under the scrutiny of an adult vs. not.  If you tell them you're going to be monitoring them, you've already poisoned the well.  And when you *can't* monitor them, you then don't know what they'll do.

I have heard this one before. Isn't this basically the same justification that governments use for spying on their citizens?

Have we really sunk to the point where Orwellian monitoring of our children is considered proper? Instead of taking the time to build a rapport of respect and trust with them??!?

The real key problem here is that if the kid has a GPS target painted on their back, then they're just as easy for anyone to find...and not all anyones have said child's best interests in mind. But yet we have obviously been trained to accept the idea of Big Brother-esq monitoring systems as righteous and good ... Because it's... For. The. Children.

How do you teach your children that spying on others and/or being spied on is unacceptable, if you are spying on them? What kind of privacy are they going to have as adults? What kind of erosion of their rights will they put up with? What type of rights will they not think a big deal to give up, never having actually had them since birth? (you can't miss what you have never had)

I have always felt that if a parent believed or that if a child showed that they are not mature or trustworthy enough to handle the responsibility of something, the parent shouldn't give it to the child, be it a key to the house, their own TV, their own computer, the responsibility of staying home alone without a babysitter, or a mobile phone.

If you don't think your kids are ready for the responsibility of a mobile phone, don't give them one. And if you think you have to spy on their usage of that phone, that's a pretty sure sign that you don't think they are ready for it.


Renegade

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Re: Am I the only person that has a real big problem with software like this?
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2013, 10:01:08 AM »
Not necessarily true.  I see what you're saying.  But there's also the other side of what a child does under the scrutiny of an adult vs. not.  If you tell them you're going to be monitoring them, you've already poisoned the well.  And when you *can't* monitor them, you then don't know what they'll do.

I have heard this one before. Isn't this basically the same justification that governments use for spying on their citizens?

HAHAHAHA~! Well, not exactly. There's a difference between pooping your diapers, needing help tying your shoes, needing help with algebra, and being an adult. It's a process. Something to be weaned off of.

None of us have a right to spy on our adult children, and neither does any government.

Have we really sunk to the point where Orwellian monitoring of our children is considered proper? Instead of taking the time to build a rapport of respect and trust with them??!?

The real key problem here is that if the kid has a GPS target painted on their back, then they're just as easy for anyone to find...and not all anyones have said child's best interests in mind. But yet we have obviously been trained to accept the idea of Big Brother-esq monitoring systems as righteous and good ... Because it's... For. The. Children.

How do you teach your children that spying on others and/or being spied on is unacceptable, if you are spying on them? What kind of privacy are they going to have as adults? What kind of erosion of their rights will they put up with? What type of rights will they not think a big deal to give up, never having actually had them since birth? (you can't miss what you have never had)

I think it's a process of weaning. However, my daughter hasn't reached the age where any of this matters yet. So, I'm guessing at some of it.

i.e. Gradually giving more autonomy.

I have always felt that if a parent believed or that if a child showed that they are not mature or trustworthy enough to handle the responsibility of something, the parent shouldn't give it to the child, be it a key to the house, their own TV, their own computer, the responsibility of staying home alone without a babysitter, or a mobile phone.

Sounds like someone with experience, and some good advice. :)

If you don't think your kids are ready for the responsibility of a mobile phone, don't give them one. And if you think you have to spy on their usage of that phone, that's a pretty sure sign that you don't think they are ready for it.

Not sure I'm with you there. There are too many uses for a phone. They might be ready for (or need) some functionality, but not other functionality.

We don't have a "kids' OS" yet. Because companies don't give a crap about children. They say they do, but they don't. If they did, we'd have sane phones for kids. But we don't have those.
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Re: Am I the only person that has a real big problem with software like this?
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2013, 10:03:16 AM »
yeah, yeah, yeah... and when you've already caught them out more than once and perfect parents & kids are what other families have?
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40hz

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Re: Am I the only person that has a real big problem with software like this?
« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2013, 10:16:40 AM »
It sounds like you're raising your kids to be adults. ;) Props to you!  :Thmbsup

I agree. That's a far better approach than to take the easy way out and teach them that stealthed electronic eavesdropping and surveillance are to be expected - and a normal and necessary part of what constitutes American life.

Sad how far so many of us have fallen. And even worse, how blissfully unaware (when not in active denial) we are about it.

But it's been said before: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

And right now it looks more and more like we're saying: "The heck with a road! Let's build a superhighway to get us there."


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Re: Am I the only person that has a real big problem with software like this?
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2013, 10:45:04 AM »
It sounds like you're raising your kids to be adults. ;) Props to you!  :Thmbsup

I agree. That's a far better approach than to take the easy way out and teach them that stealthed electronic eavesdropping and surveillance are to be expected - and a normal and necessary part of what constitutes American life.

Sad how far so many of us have fallen. And even worse, how blissfully unaware (when not in active denial) we are about it.

But it's been said before: The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

And right now it looks more and more like we're saying: "The heck with a road! Let's build a superhighway to get us there."

Hahaha! :D

I think a more accurate version would be "the (super) Highway to Hell is paved with VOTES." :P 8) (Love AC-DC!)

Well, I don't think 8-year olds know much about all that stuff, which is kind of why it's probably a good thing to shield them from some of the nastiness out there. Let them be kids. Dig for worms. Climb trees. etc.

But when it comes to the digital world, I don't see how it benefits a 9-year old to know about where in the real world we have people decapitating other people then replacing their head with goat heads in a pentagram for a black magic zombie animation ritual. That wasn't made up. That happens. And it doesn't need to be a part of growing up. That can be left for the adults or "new adults" to deal with.

Monitoring adults is one thing, but for parents to take care of their kids through some degree of monitoring is another thing entirely.

However, it's a matter of degrees. A 10-year old isn't a 16-year old, and you can't treat them the same.
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Re: Am I the only person that has a real big problem with software like this?
« Reply #21 on: October 04, 2013, 10:56:43 AM »
I have heard this one before. Isn't this basically the same justification that governments use for spying on their citizens?

No, not exactly.  My children are growing up and discovering themselves.  I want that to be their discovery.  I also want to trust that they will make the right decisions.  But, in truth, there's no way to know that they will.

The world is very unforgiving, and for all of our posturing about second chances, they're really few and far between.

So, I let them know that the phone, the computer, and even their rooms are not theirs.  They are given stewardship over them.  And because I have given them these things we both have responsibilities. Them, to do the right thing.  And me to make sure that they do.  It's my business to know what they are doing, where they are, who they are with... and its their responsibility to tell me and to do the right thing.  And we'll build on mutual respect from that foundation.  As they respect me, I'll respect them.

Do I read every e-mail, GPS them, listen in on their phone calls, check their bank accounts?  Not as a rule.  I have too much of my own to keep track of, and would rather get that information from them and trust them to do what we said.  And know that because we talk and because we hash out things and because I'm not arbitrarily authoritarian and we can rationally discuss any issues that they will be equipped to make any decisions that come their way.

But...

Trust, but Verify.

I rarely tell them what to do.  But when I do, they listen, because I don't use that power often or arbitrarily.  Growing is a process, and without guidance and direction and nurturing, who can be expected to do it alone?

So, the difference then.

With the government, you pay your taxes.  You pay for your stuff.  You pay for the services.  Then they spy on you arbitrarily and give you no respect.

That's the difference... mutual respect, and interest in well being rather than self-interest.

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Re: Am I the only person that has a real big problem with software like this?
« Reply #22 on: October 04, 2013, 11:41:25 AM »
So, I let them know that the phone, the computer, and even their rooms are not theirs.  They are given stewardship over them.  And because I have given them these things we both have responsibilities. Them, to do the right thing.  And me to make sure that they do.  It's my business to know what they are doing, where they are, who they are with... and its their responsibility to tell me and to do the right thing.  And we'll build on mutual respect from that foundation.  As they respect me, I'll respect them.

 :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup:
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wraith808

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Re: Am I the only person that has a real big problem with software like this?
« Reply #23 on: October 04, 2013, 12:13:48 PM »
Well, I don't think 8-year olds know much about all that stuff, which is kind of why it's probably a good thing to shield them from some of the nastiness out there. Let them be kids. Dig for worms. Climb trees. etc.

But when it comes to the digital world, I don't see how it benefits a 9-year old to know about where in the real world we have people decapitating other people then replacing their head with goat heads in a pentagram for a black magic zombie animation ritual. That wasn't made up. That happens. And it doesn't need to be a part of growing up. That can be left for the adults or "new adults" to deal with.

Monitoring adults is one thing, but for parents to take care of their kids through some degree of monitoring is another thing entirely.

However, it's a matter of degrees. A 10-year old isn't a 16-year old, and you can't treat them the same.

This.  Definitely this.  Recently I got a bit heated because my daughter was over a sleep-over, and the girls were going around the room saying who they had a crush on.  My daughter said no one.  One of the girls asked her if she was gay and the others laughed.

This is 10-12 year olds.

She dealt with it well, saying that she was more concerned with school and her friends than some boy that probably didn't know she existed, and definitely didn't care about her.  And this wasn't something that we put in her by rote.  It was her own thoughts.

And so, though I hated that she had to go through it (and that her friend that invited her didn't stand up with her), I was proud of the fact that she made her own decision and didn't go with the crowd.

40hz

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Re: Am I the only person that has a real big problem with software like this?
« Reply #24 on: October 04, 2013, 01:28:00 PM »
Interesting note:

Although the AlternativeTo webpage talked about monitoring children, I didn't see any mention of that on the product's decidedly unusual website. In fact, there was little mention of what it should be used for.

Sounds like an excellent tool for jealous significant others, jilted lovers, closet pedophiles ("She's not my 18-year old daughter daughter officer! She's only my live-in girlfriend's daughter!"), psychos, pervs, big-brother employers (on company issued smartphones), rogue police officials, wacky politicos, whistleblower-hunters, shady private investigators, and a raft of other weird types as well.

I know it's easy (and sometimes accurate) call all technology a double-edged sword. But some technology makes certain types of unacceptable behavior easy to the point where it almost encourages it.

I personally think the child-monitoring "suggested use" for this product got tacked on - either as an afterthought - or with the intent of deflecting criticism and/or to defuse some potential legal complications for the developer down the road.

I say this because "protecting our children" might be the only (in some people's mind) acceptable use for a product like this. As opposed to the hundred or so unacceptable uses that might spring too readily to mind.

Dunno. I think I'm calling "Bullshit!" on this developer. :-\