Welcome!

Wearables Authors: Elizabeth White, PagerDuty Blog, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Dan Blacharski

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

@ThingsExpo Stories
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi LTD., will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City. Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) will be featuring the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) portfolio. This is the industry’s only offering that allows organizations to bring together object storage, file sync and share, cloud storage gateways, and sophisticated search an...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.