Consumer behaviorParents disagree about tracking techniques to locate their children

This week, the German watchdog team of the consumer association in North Rhine-Westphalia published its survey results on location tracking of children. The results demonstrate that currently the majority of parents does not exert such tracking via smartphone apps or GPS watches. Half of respondents reject such practices, among other things, for data protection reasons.

For this representative survey, at the end of 2017 the market experts conducted online interviews with 1,048 parents of children aged 3 to 14 in the forsa online panel.

These are the key findings:

  • The vast majority (92 percent) of the interviewed parents are currently not locating their children through tracking devices.
  • Mixed reactions prevailed regarding the question of whether such a tracking control would be generally conceivable. 48 percent of respondents who currently do not locate their children would not be willing to do so. 46 percent, however, could well imagine such a localization via smartphone app or GPS watch.
  • Among the tracking opponents, 91 percent stated that they have to be able to trust their children as a reason against such practices. 74 percent perceive it as an excessive intrusion into the child's privacy.
  • Also, data privacy concerns of tracking techniques play an important role. Almost 40 percent fear the data access of a third party and 34 percent worry about what subsequently happens to the data.

Miriam Rusch-Rodosthenous, team leader of the market watchdog for the digital world at the consumer association NRW, commented: "Knowing where your child is at all times surely seems promising for worried parents. However, we are also observing risks associated with using this tracking technology."

Source: Market watchdog team of the consumer association NRW

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