New GPS product keeps digital eye on kids

By John Bachman - bio | email
Posted by Rachel Leigh - email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A tiny new GPS product set to hit store shelves this month could make it easier and more affordable to keep a digital eye on your kids.

It's called the "Little Buddy", and it's about the size of a flash drive. But one youth civil rights advocate worries the product will be used for spying more than to keep kids safe. The device is sold only at Best Buy and cost less than $100.

"It should give you real time updating where the person is. It will also allow you to view a log," said Best Buy Manager Nathan Hourani.

The device works anywhere in the U.S. Parents can even get alerts at home on their computer or even on their smart phones if their child goes someplace he or she shouldn't.

"I guess it would be a good thing, because I lose my kids all the time," said Stacy Ortiz, a mother of three.

But Jeffrey Nadel is one teen who is not a fan of devices like the LittleBuddy.

"You know you care a lot about your spouse, but do you really think it would be appropriate in your wife's purse or your husbands pocket. Probably not, but for young people that's seen as something that's ok to do," Nadel said.

The 17 year heads up the National Youth Rights Council, advocating for the civil rights of minors.

The group does things like suing the City of West Palm Beach because, they say, the city's curfew is unconstitutional.

So when it comes to GPS tracking devices for kids, Jeffrey says unless parents talk to their kids first, the Little Buddy might only create more distance between parents and their kids. Even the FBI agrees.

"If parents are relying strictly on technology to monitor where their kids are, they're not parenting," said FBI spokeswoman April Langwell.

So Nadel says if parents really want to know where their kids are at all times, open the lines of communication, then they can introduce new technology to make their kids safer.

"And if they understand if you trust them to make decisions, they will take a hands on roll and they will be responsible for their own safety and their own well being," said Nadel.

There is about a $15 monthly monitoring fee. It should be in Best Buys stores on November 17.