Talking points: Should parents be able to track their children's mobile phones to know their location?

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Kelly Ho |
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Mobile phones have a variety of functions that are privacy concerns.

Thomson Leung, 13, Yuen Long Merchants Association Secondary School

Parents shouldn’t track their kids’ location using their phones. Although students are still young, they should have privacy. I bet parents don’t want others to track them either. Parents should trust their children with making the right choices about their safety. Tracking their phones would only lead to mistrust between the two, kids may become more rebellious. If parents really don’t want their kids to go to some dangerous or inappropriate some places, they should just tell them directly. I’m sure their kids will understand their concerns and make the right decision.

Ho Ming-san, 15, The Districts Business Welfare Association School (FDBWA) Szeto Ho Secondary School

I don’t think that parents should be allowed to track their children’s whereabouts via their mobile phones. Firstly, it is an invasion of their children’s privacy, making them lose all of the freedom and independence they deserve. Secondly, I think children may feel intimidated when their whereabouts are being tracked, as they are under their parents’ control all the time.They would choose to be alone rather than playing or going out with their friends.

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Eric Leung 17, Fung Kai No.1 Secondary School

Well, it really depends. Children of different ages should be managed differently. For example, it is appropriate to track those who are in primary school, because they are not mature enough to determine right and wrong in some situations. This could put them in danger easily. However, for those who are older, I don’t think tracking their whereabouts is necessary. There is no denying that tracking can ensure their safety, but teenagers should be able to think critically and make the right decisions.

Kallie Lai, 12, Pope Paul VI College

I think parents should only be allowed to track their children via their mobile phones in case of missing or if any accident happened. They should not track their children frequently. They should respect and trust their children. Otherwise, children will feel like they have no freedom and lose their privacy. It might ruin the relationship with their parents. Parents should let their children learn adn grow, rather than monitoring and controlling them.

Nick Po, 17, Po Leung Kuk Mrs. Ma Kam Ming-Cheung Fook Sien College

Allowing parents to track their children’s whereabouts via mobile phone may hinder teens’ personal growth and harm parent-child relationship. Under strict rules and supervision, teenagers cannot cultivate critical thinking and self-discipline, as they rely on others to regulate their own behaviour.

Tracking children’s location also shatters the mutual trust in a parent-child relationship, which may cause plenty of conflicts. Children may even hate their parents for not respecting their privacy and stifling their freedom. Parents may want to draw themselves closer to their children by tracking them, but the result may really be the opposite.

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Jayden Li Tik-fung, 15, Fanling Rhenish Church Secondary School

I think parents should be allowed to track their children’s whereabouts via mobile phones. Parents are always worried about their children, and tracking helps them locate their children easily. But parents should keep in mind not to interrupt and disturb their children when they are hanging out with a group of friends. They should just check their location, know that they are safe and be relaxed.

Nicole Sze, 17, Fung Kai No.1 Secondary School

Definitely not. If children are allowed to use mobile phones, it means that they are old enough to distinguish right from wrong.They know how to avoid danger, so they can keep their whereabouts to themselves. It’s true that tracking children’s location may help prevent some accidents from occurring, but the harm that tracking brings outweighs its benefits.

Cheri Lau, 12, Pope Paul VI College

Parents should be allowed to track their children’s whereabouts, but it depends on the age of the child.

It is a good way to help parents take care of children who aged 6 to 11, but it is not a good approach when it comes to teenagers. Parents should trust their teenage children, let them be independent and give them proper freedom.

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Tsang Ching-yu, 15, The Districts Business Welfare Association School (FDBWA) Szeto Ho Secondary School

Parents should be allowed to track their children via mobile phones. Children are still young, they could run into dangerous situation on their way home from school, such as being abducted. If parents install tracking apps on their children’s phones, if something unexpected happens, they can know their children’s location immediately. They can also monitor their behaviour and know whether they have turned into a “bad person”.

Candy Liang Wai-yi, 14, Fanling Rhenish Church Secondary School

I think parents can find out their children’s whereabouts in another way. They can communicate with their children, instead of tracking their whereabouts via mobile phones. No one wants to be tracked, including the parents themselves! This is an act of disrespect and it will lead to quarrels and conflicts between parents and children. Although tracking via mobile phone is convenient and useful, there are many negative effects, therefore parents shouldn’t be allowed to track children’s mobile phones

In our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss:

If you could pick any place in Hong Kong for the school picnic, where would it be?

We are now accepting your answers for this topic. To take part, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry), to [email protected] by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.

Edited by Karly Cox

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