Tracker implants in children

Just read this story

As the father of a 6-year old girl I’d say this was a great idea, but would it work, and are there any drawbacks?

Batteries would be one drawback. I would think you would have to replace them sooner or even more sooner. Every 40 hours I think.
The other drawback is that you need an external GPS system. The chip itself doesn’t position on the map. The GPS device does, and if you’re abducted, then simply removing the GPS device out of range renders the chip useless for this purpose.
Not to mention the restriction of freedom for the child.

I saw this article a few days ago and pondered starting up a thread. It sounds like a good idea at first, but then I thought of a horrifying new type of human predator: the pedophile phreaker (phreak meaning a cell phone hacker). Now they don’t have to go around cruising for kids, they could just sit in their house or car scanning the phone network and wait for a particular child to go off by themselves. I imagine the signals could easily be blocked or jammed seeing the kind of on again-off again reception I get in my area.

I don’t know that I see the restriction of freedom that Caught@Work does; it doesn’t physically prevent the child from going anywhere. Parents are using cell phones and pagers to keep tabs on their older children now.

I can see a definite advantage to implanting these devices in prisoners (both those currently locked up and the newly released under probation), as well as some mentally ill patients that tend to wander off.

I have wondered about this myself; it may soon(or already) be possible to develop an implant that draws its power either directly from the body or from normal radio waves and sends out an identifiable tracking signal to cell transceivers, but:

An abducted or otherwise missing child might be quickly located

Wouldn’t the widespread implementation of such a system put more pressure on an abductor to kill quickly?
Would it make parents more blasé about keeping their children safe?
You’d have to implant the device somewhere that an abductor can’t readily dig it out.
Putting the child inside a Faraday cage would block the signal, wouldn’t it?
If the right technology fell into the wrong hands, a possible abductor could use it to locate children who were playing in remote areas.

I proposed a variation of this idea (using devices called ‘motes’)a while back in a thread about privacy but it was lost in the winter of missed content and the BoardReader link leads to another (dead) thread here.

Couldn’t they use the sort of batteries you get in some watches that recharge themselves from movement ?

The other points do still seem to be a problem, and it’s bound to get abused by parents who want to track their kids.

For what it’s worth, I’ve heard for some people that Kevin Warwick (the guy that’s doing this) isn’t terribly well respected in these sort of circles.


It doesn’t go into how the tracking is done but does mention the mobile phone system not gps. Cellular system will allow tracking to a wide area I would guess it’s all self contained and is cellular only.

That being said I would think there are potential problems with living with a transmitter actually inside you cause by the energy they emmit. If it can be dormant until activated by the user (or maybe a tempature switch too if body temp falls below 85F) - but continous tracking on a developing kid - not on my kid (if I were to have one)

I would also say that such a device will cause parents to watch their kids less and the kids (if constantly monitored) will not learn to set their own boundries.

Couldn’t they use the sort of batteries you get in some watches that recharge themselves from movement ? [/quote[

They are small generators - not batts - that recharge the batts and do add to the size of the device. I would think it wouldn’t be powerful enough to recharge a transmitter.

I would think that an inductive charger like the soniccare toothbrush charger will be the way to go (while sleeping) but it is cumbersome and will expose the kid to more em radiation.

Here’s The Register’s response. Basically, it’s a crock.

I think it’d have to combine both technologies to be practical - use GPS to get coordinates, and transmit the coordinates using the cellular phone network.

Anyway, I don’t think it would be practical because radio signals can be blocked easily. All you need is a metallic enclosure such as a cargo van.

Ok so readign that one it looks like she has to carry a external device - then why do they need a in the skin device?

If it were an all in one devise it would have to be cellular only.

Just my humble O

…which is indeed the vehicle of choice for abductors, or so it would seem.

if it’s a device that the child wears around the neck, I suppose the first thing the abductor would do would be to take it off and throw it in a ditch, but if the implant only works in the presence of a (specific) mobile phone, then there’s little difference.


Here’s The Register’s response. Basically, it’s a crock.

Yes, I think you’re dead right. More worryingly, it ignores the fact that the vast (and I mean VAST) majority of child abuse in the UK are carried out by people the child, and the family, already know (normally the family itself).

My take on this - kid tagging is a prime example of a good sentiment leading to a wild misapplication! In fact, isn’t restricting your child’s freedom tantamount to abuse itself?

We’re talking about children here, not adults. I would say it’s abuse not to restrict your child’s “freedom of movement” and not to know where they are at all times. That’s exactly what parents should be doing.

I’d imagine the child would be FAR more likely to die from an infection from the implant operation than at the hands of an abductor/murderer.