Watching Your Kids' Every Move

internet privacy 091200 AP

Work may keep Jim Goetz thousands of miles from his children. But, as CBS News Correspondent Sandra Hughes reports, he's just a keystroke away from keeping tabs on what they're doing. By using new snooping software he can electronically look over his children's shoulders while they're on the computer.

"I would not characterize it as snooping any more than I would characterize asking my kids where they're going and who they're going with to the movies is snooping," he says.

"If I'm keeping the straight and arrow and I'm not doing anything wrong there should be no reason why they can't go through and read my instant messages," says his daughter, Jamie.

"It shows that they care," says his other daughter, Kelly. "They want to know what's going on."

But not all teenagers agree. In Connecticut, the Astrachan family uses the same technology.

"My daughters reaction? A piercing shriek of, 'Oh my God,'" says Dr. Astrachan.

"I do think he's really invading my privacy," says his daughter, Ariel.

But her dad doesn't worry about that. He worries more about Internet predators.

Keeping tabs on kids is not just happening in cyberspace. In some homes, even the walls have eyes.

A Beverly Hills spy shop offers a standard radio clock equipped with a micro-camera connected to a server.

"It allows you - from anywhere in the world to monitor activities at your house," says a sales clerk.

The car provides little relief from adult supervision. Troubled by statistics that show traffic accidents are the leading cause of injuries to teenagers, Ryan Evans' parents have turned to the so-called "black box."

"It feels like my mom is right next to me cause, like if it beeps, I can't argue with it," says Ryan.

And when Ryan takes a turn too hard or drives too fast, his parents can download his driving patterns on their computer.

How about a watch with a global positioning system that can track a child inside, outside and virtually everywhere they go.

Beginning in 2005, parents will be able to track their children through their cell phones - that's when all phones must be equipped by law with GPS-like systems.

All this snooping may sound a little too much. And experts say it might be.

"A child's trust for other people will be affected if their own parents didn't trust them," says child psychotherapist Dr. Beth Braun. "How can they learn to trust other people?"

"If you're a 15-year-old child, I think it's ridiculous for me to say, 'I trust you completely.' I remember being 15. I wasn't completely trustworthy," says Dr. Astrachan.

It's that memory that may be pushing some parents to go a little too far. A GPS ankle monitor is currently only used for convicted criminals. Yet, one company that sells them says it has plenty of parents begging to buy them to police their own children.
  • Jaime Holguin

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