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Summary:

AT&T has unveiled a new service for family plan customers, FamilyMap, that has interesting implications. For $10/month customers can track the location of any two phones on their plan, for $15/month any five phones can be tracked. The tracking uses phone GPS for those that have […]

AT&T has unveiled a new service for family plan customers, FamilyMap, that has interesting implications. For $10/month customers can track the location of any two phones on their plan, for $15/month any five phones can be tracked. The tracking uses phone GPS for those that have it and triangulation for those lacking GPS. The FamilyMap tracking is done silently, with tracked phones receiving a text message once a month to let them know they are being watched.

familymap

This service is creepy for sure, and there is little doubt there is ample room for customer abuse. It’s likely only a matter of time before we hear about AT&T customers spying on their spouses to find out what they’re up to. On the flip side, I can imagine that parents will be able to keep an eye on their kids to make sure they are where they are supposed to be at all times. Like most new technology there are two sides to the FamilyMap service and time will tell how it shakes out. Would you use this on your family?

(via TechBlog)

  1. “Would you use this on your family?”

    James, that is definitely one of the creepiest questions I’ve ever read. It sounds like the sort of question you’d ask about Mustard Gas or Napalm :)

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  2. I’d use this…. just not on my family!

    *super creep mode*

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  3. But what about the already lousy battery life… will it get worse now if the GPS is always on and transmitting…

    if it also includes an unlimited data plan I’ll take it. if I have to tack on the $10-$15 a month and have a data plan on each phone I don’t think it will be worth it.

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  4. I have been using Sprint’s version of this for about 6 months with my family. Number of lost phones located = 3 (2 at a friends house, 1 at a soccer field). Ever walked up to a 12 field soccer complex and try to figure out where your kid is at…used the mobile Family Locator site on my Mogul to figure that one out quickly. Number of times used to spy on my kids (or my wife)=Zero…guess that makes it not creepy for me. I thinks its a pretty good service.

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  5. It also notifies the “locatee” when they are “signed up” for the service by the account owner (e.g. the parent, or one of the spouses). Thus all locatees know from the get-go that they can be tracked.

    As far as battery life, this is NOT a geofencing type app that pings the device every 15 minutes or so as an example. The device is only pinged when the parent does a manual locate request, OR it is done during a regularly scheduled time check (e.g. at 3 pm when Jr. should be home from school.

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  6. I don’t see why this service is creepy, I think it is a good tool to track your kids and family.
    Also if you have nothing to hide then what is the problem?
    For me is not creepy.

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  7. Does this make sense to anyone???

    The FamilyMap tracking is done silently, with tracked phones receiving a text message once a month to let them know they are being watched.

    A text message telling them they are locatable isnt exactly silent is it…

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  8. can u track a phone that it switched off?…or can u be tracked if ur phone is switched off?..can u be tracked if u take out the sim card from the phone and place the sim card at a random place?

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