Report says mobile web browsing can reveal where children are - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Report says mobile web browsing can reveal where children are located

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Does the thought of someone tracking your child's every move concern you? Well, according to the Federal Trade Commission, it's happening. How? An FTC report reveals a bunch of data is collected when your child downloads an app or browses the internet.

Perhaps the one piece of information parents are unbelievably uneasy about, these apps can reveal exactly where your child is.

"Definitely concerning," says Jennifer Johnson who says she's thankful her daughter is only 2-years-old and she doesn't have to worry about this yet.

So how much of your privacy do you have to part with to acquire an application? What if along with the app your kid has to sacrifice safety? "As the father of two boys I think there's too much data available already out there. So any more that we provide to a potential predator is definitely a negative," says Houstonian David Twilley.

The FTC findings are creeping many parents out. According to the FTC when your child buys an app using a mobile phone or tablet a good percentage of the time your youngster's contact information and other personal data is passed on to the app developer, advertising networks and other third parties.

"Everyone's grand concern is because of my child's phone you know where my child is and you know who my child is? That scare's people," says Dr. Chris Bronk an Information Technology Policy professor at Rice University.

Dr. Bronk says don't expect for this lack of privacy practice to change soon. His advice? Get a good browser babysitter or net nanny. Dr. Bronk uses safety software called F-Secure for his kids.

"When the country of Estonia was hacked F-Secure was one of the companies that went into Estonia and cleaned up the mess. So they can deal with everything from your kid's privacy issues all the way up to the Russian's are attacking the private infrastructure," says Dr. Bronk.

Bronk suggests you carefully decide when your child is responsible enough for mobile devices. "I have four daughters and they're going to get cell phones probably at 15," says Houstonian Alan Freeman.

"I didn't get one until I turned 16 to drive for emergency reasons only," adds Johnson. The parents we spoke with say getting your kids a cell phone is also a responsibility parents have to be ready for.

"It's just a matter of managing properly and watching your children and what they are looking at and who's contacting them and watching your bill and following the activity," says Houstonian Dawn Coleman.

The bottom line is parents now also have to provide electronic or digital protection and if you and your kids aren't ready for the responsibility then don't take it on. What tips do you have to keep kids safe on-line?

Find me on twitter @DamaliKeithFOX to tell me about it.

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