Software lets parents monitor kids’ calls

NZ Herald Mar 25, 2011
New spy software has gone on sale in New Zealand to allow parents to monitor their children’s text messages and cellphone calls. The technology even has a GPS tracking device so parents know exactly where their children are at any given moment – all for a cost of $44. Sally Rae and Steve Herstell, who launched the software in New Zealand yesterday, said the application was aimed at helping parents prevent their children become victims of bullying, sexting and grooming. “You need to train a child to use a cellphone, and this is a way of doing that,” Ms Rae said. “You can actually watch all telephone calls in and out, you can black-list some numbers if you want to,” Ms Rae said. “You can see all texts in and out and the content of the texts. You can also GPS-track them.” … However, the Women’s Refuge and civil liberties groups are horrified about what it might mean if the technology was abused. “It’s extremely concerning,” Women’s Refuge acting chief executive Lynn Boyd said. “It could mean that an abusive partner could monitor their partner’s calls to emergency services, help services or family members whom they turn to in their time of need.”