Tracking your child – is it against the law?

When you consider the debate that has been going on about the ethics of monitoring children with GPS tracking devices, it would be good to know what the law says about this. In the beginning even schools used to refuse children from coming to school wearing GPS tracking devices. Parents insisted until the school acquiesced. However, was this right under the law?

Children, just like adults, have a right to maintain their privacy. However, due to their minority status, this right to privacy is limited to a certain point. There is no legislation that is directly concerned with GPS tracking of children. Although there is no law targeted at this practice, you will find that society has come up with some sort of “AcceptedBehavior Rules” withregards to GPS tracking of children.

A parent has to weigh the ethics of tracking thechild against the dangers that the child may face, and how the tracking device could help save the child. Most people opt to go for an open relationship with the child in order to determine whether the tracking GPS device is acceptable. The child may just say that he or she can use a cell phone and the parent can call at any time to know that the child is safe. The child may also see the concern of the parent and accept to be monitored with a GPS watch. Most children are happy to wear a GPS watch as they feel more secure.

Parental rights also allow the parent to be in full control over the movement of the child. A parent is within his or her rights, if he says that the child should not go to a particular area. Using a GPS tracking watch to ensure that the child does not venture to the restricted area is therefore legal.

On the side of the child, society understands that the child is obligated to listen to the parent, especially when the safety of the child is the issue. This means that the child may have to wear the GPS tracking watch, whether he or she wants to or not. As long as the mother or father has said the watch must be worn, the child is obligated to do so.

The law says that the privacy rights of the child are not equal to those of an adult. Thereasons being that a child cannot make critical decision, the child is vulnerable to the adult and the adult has a right to parent the child.

The legality of tracking children using GPS devices is a grey area. There is no law for or against it. There are expectations that are enforced in the existing laws. There are also societal expectations about the privacy of a child. Perhaps soon, there will be legislature directly addressing this issue, but for now, there is none that says tracking your child is illegal. You have the right to keep your child safe at all times, and you have the right to have peace of mind. If you need to have the child wear a GPS tracking watch, there is no law against it.

As with any laws, they are different from country to country as we have seen from Germany banning any devices that can listen in without the people around the device knowing they are listening.  We expect we will see more changes in this area.

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