A proposed new law in New Jersey has the potential to alter how some parents have chosen to tackle digital parenting, truly a monumental challenge these days.
In the first move of its kind that we know of, NJ Democratic Senator Nia Gill has proposed a law that would make all “stalking” apps and software illegal. Elsewhere, Minnesota Senator Al Franken has been pressuring federal lawmakers to investigate the creator of such apps for the past couple of years.
According to an article at NJ 101.5 discussing the proposed legislation, Senator Gill offered the following:
“A stalking app can be put into your cell phone without your knowledge. It then can pinpoint your location, follow you, read your emails, texts – anything you do on that phone the person would have access to. It is also used as a bugging device. They can actually listen in on your conversations.”
It appears that this law is targeted at spouses and significant others, as well as those who are up to no good. It looks, though, like a law of this type would not exclude parents who wish to track their children and penalties are steep, including the possibility of three to five years in prison and/or steep fines.
We are not fans of these types of apps. We believe that some things should remain private, and full digital tracking of a child should only be done as a last resort. As concerns over privacy heat up (finally?), these apps could become a thing of the past.
Communication will always be the best way to ensure that kids’ and teens’ internet activity is safe and responsible. That hasn’t changed since day one.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.