Prioritizing Safety over Privacy
By Alexandria Ng / June 1, 2015

As we increasingly become more dependent on technology, children are being exposed to electronics at younger ages than ever before. Whether they own a phone, a laptop, or a tablet device, the younger generation is being introduced to things their parents didn't experience when they were the same age. However, the increased time that children and teenagers spend on their electronic devices has raised several new concerns regarding Internet safety, peer pressure, and cyber-bulling.

"I think knowledge is power and sometimes, children aren't always forthright with information," Nanci Stern, a Parkland mom said. "And the last thing parents want to do with their children is nag them. I'm all for this app."

In response, officials at TeenSafe have made it their mission to help parents stay one step ahead of their children to ensure their safety in the digital world. By creating an iPhone-friendly online account with TeenSafe, parents are given the ability to monitor incoming, outgoing, and deleted text messages, web browsing history, contacts, call logs, location, and Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Kik Messenger activity. Although TeenSafe developed this project to ultimately protect children who are frequently on their phone, some teenagers feel that the constant surveillance is an invasion of privacy

Prioritizing Safety over Privacy
"Maybe it's necessary for the younger kids who don't know the dangers of the internet, but for the older kids who have experienced it and have been taught what to do and what not to do, it's not necessary," Sofia Osorio, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, said. "I think this is a total invasion of privacy. Parents should be able to trust their kids and not have to monitor their every move on the Internet. We're at an age where we can determine wrong from right and make the decisions ourselves. To be monitored by parents is unnecessary and annoying."

Despite negative reactions from children, TeenSafe continued their goal to make parents more aware of what occurs via electronic communication. Over the course of two days, Rawdon Messenger, the CEO of TeenSafe, held discussions in the Miami area with parents interested in the new development of mobile surveillance. With this new product, parents are empowered to become more proficient with the new technologies of the digital age, while also keeping track of their children's online activity.

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