I discovered the website Family Watchdog a few weeks ago and was pleased with this new discovery because it gave me five new minutes of material. This is a site where you can find sexual predators in your area by typing in your zipcode. A map of your neighborhood will come up with the home addresses of your scariest neighbors. Great service, huh? If you live in Los Angeles, however, pretty much every street is chock full of violent pervs. So how does "being aware" of the 30-odd rapists within a two-mile area translate into security? Maybe if there's one rapist in a small town you can keep tabs. And don't rapists leave the house? Because it's great to know that you can find one at a specific address, but these guys have legs. They can walk around. They don't have RFID chips installed. Yet.
So I'm reading the news today and come across this piece of news.
Now, Dawson is teaming up with a California-based technology firm to introduce the first cellphone that uses the Global Positioning System to alert parents when a child is walking near a sexual predator's home.
CATS Communication Inc. allows parents to build a "geofence" around every listed child predator that lives within their ZIP code. The phone alerts parents through an e-mail, text message or pager if their child enters that zone, said the company's vice president, Jon Kudla.
Does this make any sense? Does it even work to give a parent peace of mind? If your cell phone is going off every few minutes alerting you to lurking predators, is that a good thing? Because, again, it's only telling you the kid's on the same street as the predator's home.
And is this service simply a way for corporations to make money off frightened parents? Your thoughts? To me it seems like a cynical business designed to exploit a parent's fear without offering a meaningful way to prevent an attack.