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Nanny state: Should you be tracking your children?

Growing numbers of parents are using apps to keep tabs on their kids' whereabouts, but the experts have concerns. Yvonne Hogan reports

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Eye in the sky: Cliona Hickey, with her two girls Katy (12) and Chloe (14), keeps an eye on things using the Kids Control App. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Eye in the sky: Cliona Hickey, with her two girls Katy (12) and Chloe (14), keeps an eye on things using the Kids Control App. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Eye in the sky: Cliona Hickey, with her two girls Katy (12) and Chloe (14), keeps an eye on things using the Kids Control App. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Chloe Hickey was in 6th class when she received her first smartphone two years ago, a post-Confirmation gift from her parents. Before giving Chloe the phone, her parents installed the KidControl GPS tracker app on each of their phones. Mum, Cliona, had researched the various options online, and chose KidControl as it also allowed Chloe to track her parents' location.

"We didn't want Chloe to see it as very one-sided," she said.

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Child psychologist Malie Coyne thinks GPS apps add to parental anxiety

Child psychologist Malie Coyne thinks GPS apps add to parental anxiety

Child psychologist Malie Coyne thinks GPS apps add to parental anxiety

For the Hickeys, who live in the Dublin suburbs, the decision to give Chloe the phone was contingent on the installation of GPS tracking for a number of reasons: