Sweeping parental-control product for phones

Tell me if you can possibly think of a feature not covered in this new parental-control app for Windows, Symbian, and BlackBerry phones (but especially Windows ones, its creators say). It’s actually a little chilling, if a parent were to try to use MyKidIsSafe surreptitiously (though kids would probably figure it out). Features include Text Message Monitoring (scans for approximately 1,500 “words,” “slang,” and “lingo” and copies parent); Safe List (people ok to call child); GPS Tracking for child’s physical location; Geo-Fencing (monitors to see if child leaves set physical boundaries and sends alert – maybe he’d “forget” to take their phone with them?); Kid Arrival (parent notified via email or text when child comes within 500 feet of her destination); Speeding Notification (alerts parent when child is driving fast); Cyberbullying & Predator Monitor (notes an excessive umber of calls/texts from a single person, whom parents can add to block list, but I’m not sure how it distinguishes between gabby friend and strange adult); Time Restrictions for phone use; Restrict Calls and Texting While Driving (now, this is cool); and Sexting Alert (claims to scan images on Windows and Symbian phones for nudity). There’s not much more detail on these and other features in the 5+ minute infomercial at YouTube.

In an email, I asked the company’s CEO, Jay Lacny, if they include in their marketing the importance of talking with one’s kids about all these features if used. He responded, “Yes, that is the most important thing. We really don’t like the term ‘Parental Controls’ but have yet to come up with a fresher word. This is engaging your kids and the need to know to be a caring parent. Kids will be exposed to alcohol, drugs, sex unless you live by yourself in the wilderness. We don’t want to tell parents how to parent but need to give them the “data…. Parents can spend years instilling their belief systems into a child and have them broken by peer pressure. It’s difficult to have parents wake up to this.” Do you agree? How many of this tool’s features would you use, and which would you find most useful (or not)? Pls post a comment in our forum or email me via anne[at]netfamilynews.org.

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