Best Buy’s GPS child surveillance tracker

For just $99.99, you can get the Little Buddy Child Tracker that allows you to keep tabs on your children.

From Best Buy’s website:

Keep tabs on your child at all times with this small but sophisticated device that combines GPS and cellular technology to provide you with real-time location updates. The small and lightweight Little Buddy transmitter fits easily into a backpack, lunchbox or other receptacle, making it easy for your child to carry so you can check his or her location at any time using a smartphone or computer.

Customizable safety checks allow you to establish specific times and locations where your child is supposed to be — for example, in school — causing the device to alert you with a text message if your child leaves the designated area during that time. Additional real-time alerts let you know when the device’s battery is running low so you can take steps to ensure your monitoring isn’t interrupted.

How do I sign up for Insignia LittleBuddy?

  1. Purchase and receive your Insignia LittleBuddy location device from BestBuy.com.
  2. Activate your LittleBuddy at https://www.insignialittlebuddy.com by clicking the Activate Your LittleBuddy tab.
  3. Provide your e-mail address. You will receive an authentication e-mail with a link to complete the sign-up process.

Theoretically, this can also be used to track people who aren’t children.  I’m sure spouse abusers and stalkers would love something like this.  Human traffickers and employers would probably also be interested.

As with other GPS devices, such as the British idea to sew trackers into their childrens’ school jackets, it is useless.  If it fits easily into a backpack, lunchbox or other receptacle, how long will it be before the child leaves it behind somewhere?  It will take the children all of twenty seconds to think of ways around this.  You can leave it in the bushes at school, in your locker, with your friends, etc.  Considering most schools require that all of your belongings go into your locker during school, the device is likely not to work.  The locker will act as a Faraday Cage allowing little to no signal to be sent.  It really isn’t hard to circumvent yet parents will be under a false sense of security, thinking their “innocent” children are safe at the desired location.

Instead of tracking your children every moment of the day, maybe parents should actually try parenting instead.  For those who are overly paranoid about their children being abducted, see my last sentence.  Yes, abductions occur, but, if you take a closer look, many of them could have been avoided by simple parenting.  They are also not a common occurrence.  We only think so because each time something happens, the news media reports it to death because they know it will sell newspapers and raise ratings.

If your small children cannot behave in public that they try to hide or run away and think it’s all a game, it’s a lack of parenting.  This device will simply allow those types of parents to continue such behaviors while believing that this Little Buddy will save their kids from all the problems of society.  The parents are also assuming that any would-be abductor would not be smart enough to search a child for any type of GPS enabled device.

There is also little detail on how secure this system is and who can access the information.  This is a security risk that doesn’t seem to be addressed.

Kids don’t need to be monitored all the time.  Let kids be kids.  The more you restrict them, the more rebellious they will end up being.  Guide them, but know when to get the hell out of the way.