New Device Lets Obsessive Parents Listen In On Their Preschoolers' Conversations

LG released a device called KizON Wednesday, a wristband that is intended to let parents track and even listen in on their preschool or early primary school kids, NPR reports.

The device uses Wi-Fi and GPS and lets parents keep tabs from the comfort of their smartphone. The “One Step Direct Call” feature lets a child use the wristband to call a programmed number simply by pressing a button.

In addition, if the kids miss a call, or decide they don’t want to talk to Mum or Dad within a 10-second window, the built-in microphone will automatically turn on and allow the parents to listen in to what is going on around their children.

Reynol Junco’s 7-year-old son has a similar device, and he told NPR that, had his wife asked before she had bought it, he never would have allowed it.

“I would have said hell no,” Junco told NPR. “Her idea was that it would help him feel comfortable being able to get in touch with somebody if he needed to. It’s a device that engages our fears about society, and I think sends a message that the world isn’t safe. The world is both happiness and doom, but that lack of safety has always been there.”

While the device may also invade a child’s privacy, there are definitely different schools of thought on whether kids have privacy rights in the first place. A 2013 study found six out of 10 parents read through their kids emails, texts, and Facebook messages while one in 10 actively work to find out their kids’ passwords, according to The Daily Mail, which said the study surveyed 2,000 parents.

To be sure, there have been bills introduced recently to protect the online privacy of children, but it’s not clear whether those bills would be intended to stop people from spying on their own children. In any event, many parents in the U.S. will soon have the option of keeping a close digital eye on their kids.

While KizON is now only available in South Korea, but will soon become available in North America later this year.

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