Wireless

by Joseph Weisenthal




Nextel Ups The Stakes In Marketing To Paranoid Parents

from the just-selling-of-peace-of-mind dept

Yesterday, we wrote about Disney's MVNO, which offers parents the ability to better track their kids mobile usage, and even monitor their location. It seems like Nextel is looking to one up Disney in the profiting from fear department, offering a service that uses GPS to alert parents anytime their child is near the home of a registered sex offender (via Engadget Mobile). While the Disney offering may give parents a false sense of security, Nextel's service may do the opposite, giving parents random but frequent bouts of terror and helplessness. It wouldn't be a surprise if this appeals to a lot of parents, but it's not clear how this service actually makes kids any safer.

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  1. identicon
    Joe T, 7 Apr 2006 @ 11:51am

    There's more than one problem....

    1. I've yet to hear of a case in which a registered sex offender grabbed someone off the street in front of their home. Every case I've read about, the child was abducted on the way home from somewhere.

    2. Databases can be wildly out-of-date and given the number of registrants (who, as noted, might have simply mooned an adult), false alarms will be frequent. Looking at the registry map in my local area, it seems it would be constant if my child leaves the house - even on main roads.

    3. What radius to a sex-offender's address triggers the alarm?

    4. What happens when your child's best friend lives 3 doors down from a sex offender? Must they cease to be friends, because every time the friend is dropped off, the alarm goes off?

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