In my very state, Montclair State University was the first college in the country to require students to purchase a cell phone from the school (it's included in the cost of tuition), even if they already have a cell phone. The purpose of this "school phone" is so campus police can track students via GPS.
Because even if you're a 6' 2" 220 lb muscle-bound, kung-fu fighting 18-year old, it would be unfair if you didn't have to buy one while everyone else did...
God... Requiring? Including in the cost of tuition? Cripes... WTF is wrong with NOT forcing people to buy crap they don't want?
It's supposed to be for their own safety....protecting "kids", blah, blah, blah.
But as we all know, most college "kids" aren't technically kids any more. They are adults, over the age of 18. When the program started, turning on the GPS was at the student's option, and if they didn't turn it off after 20 minutes, campus police would be dispatched to their location. It's a "safety thing".
I don't mind if other people want to do that. Great. Wonderful. Awesome. Good for them.
But forcing everyone?
Like you said - they're adults. They can make their own decisions, even if those decisions don't turn out all rainbow farting unicorns and leprechaun's playing AC/DC while they slide down the unicorn farts into their pots of gold...
They say that a frog in a pot of water doesn't notice it's being cooked to death if you heat the water slowly.
So, the first step is making the phones mandatory to own. Next would be mandatory to carry, then mandatory to have turned on.
The problem here is MANDATORY. And that they are adults capable of making their own decisions.
And I guess it's no big deal to someone that has been tracked by their parents since birth to continue to be tracked by police, as adults, when they go off to college.
Why do you think I hate public education so much? It's nothing more than one big behaviour modification exercise. But, that aside... I did say I wouldn't rant about it...
There are a lot of people that aren't the best parents out there.
There are a lot of people that don't raise their children responsibly.
There are a lot of people that inflict serious injuries on their kids, either physically, mentally, or spiritually.
But taking a tool that can be used properly by loving, caring, and judicious parents isn't going to do any good.
It's not the tool - it's who uses it.
I wonder if any of these software vendors would put in a notice about the dangers of surveillance... Prolly not.
For individual parents, the amount of harm they can do with these kinds of tools is pretty much limited to their own household. This is a price that is paid for not having a totalitarian surveillance state.
For a state to have these kinds of tools though... That's another thread.