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Lisa Belkin Headshot

Keeping Track Of Your Kids (Literally)

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It's 10 AM. Do you know where your children are?

If they attend a public school in the Brazilian City of Vitoria da Conquista, your cell phone will track them for you. CBS Atlanta and Babble are reporting that student uniforms are equipped with tracking chips that send confirmation texts to parents when children enter the school building, along with notification texts once a child is 20 minutes late.

The chips are laundry-proof and tamper proof and are much the same technology as that used by veterinarians to track pets. The district told CBS that this was the first time such technology was used in this way by a school anywhere in the world, but it is hardly the first way that parents have been given the option of following their children's comings and goings electronically. There are watches, and phone apps and after market auto add ons and fake GPS devices and fob-like thingys that will do essentially the same thing.

All these are similar in purpose -- and they are also similar in the questions they raise. Should we be tracking our children the way we track our pets? Is this just one more sign of paranoid parenting? Or is it a much addition to the parenting tool kit?

Would you chip your child?

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