03-28-2007, 08:51 PM #1
Important AIM Alert For AOL Users - Parents & Kids!
Hey All ..
If I still had young'uns living at home .. or if I used my "AOL Instant Messenger" to communicate with folks online that I did not *personally* know - this would really be a concern for me. However, I rarely use my IM on AOL or MSN and never with anyone I do not "know".
IMHO - Children & teens tend to be more trusting and less cautious of the very real dangers on the internet.
I'd like to encourage all of you parents with kids that use a computer with a broadband connection & a router to please read this article and take the necessary precautions for yourselves & your kids.
In my mind - this newest technology is a bit scary as it *could be* a very real danger for our children. The child predators in internet chat rooms are just going to love it.
AOL's Instant Message 'Tracking' Plug-In Concerns Police, Parents
Some Concerned Predators Can Use Technology To Track Children
March 27, 2007
ORLANDO, Fla. -- A new plug-in that allows users of American Online's popular instant messaging service to track and find the location of their buddies with Wi-Fi positioning technology has police and parents concerned, according to a Local 6 report.
"Police have a warning for parents, that there is a new technology on the market that makes it easier for predators to track your kids," Local 6's Kimberly Houk said.
The AIM location plug-in, powered by Skyhook Wireless, allows users to set and share their current and future locations with their buddies, according to IT News Online.
The service tracks the location of the buddies by using the continuous wireless pulses emitted by all Wi-Fi transmitters and Wi-Fi-enabled computers.
Skyhook spent the past several years driving a fleet of 200 trucks up and down the streets of 2,500 cities across the U.S. and Canada pulling signals from wireless routers and tagging the GPS coordinates, Local 6 News
The service pinpoints the exact location of computers being used to communicate online.
"By working with Skyhook on this next-generation AIM Location plug-in, we are expanding the social networking capabilities available to our AIM users. At any given time, AIM users can now see where their buddies are, map their location and quickly find out how far they are from each other so they can meet in person," said Marcien Jenckes, senior vice president, messaging & social media, AOL.
"This new Skyhook-enabled plug-n will provide AIM users with a unique location-based experience."
However, police and parents are concerned about it, Local 6 reported.
"Most kids are chatting from their house already," Orange County sheriff's Deputy Kevin Stenger said. "There is no need for anyone to know where the house is at."
"We certainly discourage them from having any communication with friends that they don't know," parent Tom Sproat said. "We monitor that and just try to do our best."
The plug-in is available as a free download and adds a new grouping to AIM's buddy list window called "Near Me."
Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.
http://www.local6.com/problemsolvers/11388698/detail.html"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated ... I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man."
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03-28-2007, 09:18 PM #2
Do both chatters need to have the tracker download or just the one wanting to do the tracking? This is pretty scary. A pervert could talk a kid or even an adult into downloading this free thing just to learn their location.
03-28-2007, 09:31 PM #3
Hi TxVicki ..
I wish I could answer your question - I just don't know.
I accessed this article & video on Local6.com (ProblemSolvers) this afternoon and so far - what is in the article is all I know. I'm planning on following up and finding out more.
I would imagine that as soon as the child puts "the new friend" (possibly a predator) on his/her buddy list & has the "Near Me" feature turned on - the other person can track their exact location - right down to their home address.
YES - VERY SCARY! I agree.
Rum Tum"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated ... I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man."
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