Electronic Tagging for Kids

Lok8U's tag (sorry... watch)

Another day, another ridiculous device that plays on fear… British company Lok8U (urgh…) has produced a digital watch that can be used to track the wearer through GPS. Now there are plenty of these types of devices about from Bladerunner’s GPS-enabled jackets to services for tracking another person’s mobile phone. 

But there is something rather more ominous about this one. It’s not just a friendly tracking device. It is, so the makers’ claim, “the world’s first GPS locator that locates your child… not just the device.” In other words, the watch is designed so that it cannot be removed by the wearer. Never mind prisoners on probation, or offenders on behaviour orders, this is basically DIY electronic tagging for your kids. Of course it won’t stop any actual harm coming to the little darlings (and in any case it will probably be as easily removed as electronic tags are) but it might just make both you and they even more afraid of the world than you are already.

Author: David

I'm David Murakami Wood. I live on Wolfe Island, in Ontario, and am Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Surveillance Studies and an Associate Professor at Queen's University, Kingston.

One thought on “Electronic Tagging for Kids”

  1. One of the most sinister uses of CCTV in the UK takes place in mother-and-baby units (and who knows where else in the care system). Mother and baby are under 24-hour CCTV surveillance. If they want to say, undress, they have to let the supervising social worker know. Any act (or non-act) can be noted and later interpreted by the social worker as evidence in reports on the mother, and this can lead to an extension of their incarceration, or to the removal of he baby itself. The stress of this knowledge alone is a kind of cruelty. Bear in mind that too many of these mother-and-baby snatches by the social services take place for no ggod reason anyway. As the family courts are secret and court orders impose silence on the families, there is little opportunity to fight for your freedom.

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