Cell Phone “Geofence” Would Tip Parents To Sex Offenders


When 11-year-old Jessica Lunsford was kidnapped and murdered last year in Florida, nearby resident Joe Dawson began gathering signatures to enact stricter penalties for registered sex offenders, says the Associated Press .Now, he’s teaming up with a California-based technology firm to introduce a cell phone that uses a Global Positioning System to alert parents when a child is walking near a sexual predator’s home. CATS Communication 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 Jon Kudla.

Linked with the Family Watchdog’s national database of registered sex offenders, the phone will update with new zones every time the a new name is added to the database. The feature, which hits the market in the next two months, costs $19.99 a month for the first phone and $9.99 for each additional phone. CATS introduced Cat Trax – a wireless phone that tracks kids with a Global Positioning System chip – last year. Wherifone and Teen Arrive Alive are among the growing number of companies that help parents keep tabs on their children’s whereabouts and driving habits. The chip can monitor a child’s location or how fast a teen is driving.

Link: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/F/FL_SEXUAL_PREDATOR_PHONES_FLOL-?SITE=FLPET&SECTI

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