GPS Your Kids: Out of sight, never out of mind?

By: Beth Brindle

GPS Your Kids: Out of sight, never out of mind?
Image: Comstock/Thinkstock

About This Quiz

Today, GPS tracking devices give us the ability to follow our kids' movements in realtime on our smartphones and computers, but does that mean we should? Take this quiz to test your knowledge of GPS trackers for kids.
In 2005, a Japanese company stirred up controversy by embedding GPS tracking devices into what children's item?
stuffed animals
school uniforms
Japanese school blazer manufacturer Ogo-Sangyo started a debate about parenting limits when the company stitched GPS trackers and panic alarms into its uniforms.
lunch boxes

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What do the letters GPS stand for?
global positioning system
The global positioning system is a satellite navigation system capable of providing location information anywhere in the world.
global privacy subversion
general position schematic

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True or false: It is illegal to use a GPS device to track your teenager without his or her knowledge.
true
false
While U.S. courts typically uphold parents' rights to exercise control over their children, placing your teen under surveillance probably isn't the best recipe for parent/child bonding.

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How many satellites make up the global positioning system?
24
While there are currently 31 operational positioning satellites in the GPS network, it takes just 24 orbiting satellites to track our every move down here on planet Earth.
96
120

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What is a "geo-fence"?
a virtual perimeter or border around a specific location
Retailers may use geo-fencing to send a coupon to your phone when you walk past their storefront; parents can use it to receive an alert when a child leaves a predefined perimeter.
the imaginary line between a navigation satellite and your GPS device
a weak electrical field created by the global positioning system

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What percent of abducted children are taken by a complete stranger?
10 percent
25 percent
According to The Nemours Foundation, just 25 percent of abducted children are kidnapped by a stranger. The rest are taken by a family member or other acquaintance.
75 percent

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According to the description on its Web site, the Livewire FastTrac Ultra-Covert GPS Tracking Device (try fitting that on a billboard!) is accurate to what distance?
within 8 inches
If its marketing claims are to be believed, this high-end GPS tracker can pinpoint your teen's location to within 8 inches.
within 8 feet
within 8 meters

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When was the first GPS satellite launched?
1964
1978
The U.S. military launched its first GPS satellite in 1978. The full contingent of 24 satellites was completed in 1994.
1982

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Who pays for GPS service?
U.S. taxpayers
Not only do U.S. taxpayers pay monthly fees to wireless carriers, they also foot the bill for the GPS program itself, which is budgeted through the Department of Defense.
The United Nations
wireless network providers

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What is one way that radio frequency (RF) transmitters differ from GPS trackers?
An RF transmitter requires multiple receivers to pinpoint the transmitter's location.
RF transmitters are small, light and have a long battery life, but they require multiple receivers to calculate location, and they are limited to a shorter range than a GPS.
An RF transmitter is too large for a child to carry.
An RF transmitter covers a much wider territory than a GPS tracker.

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Which of the following is a popular RF transmission system for helping to track children who are at risk for wandering away from their caretakers?
Little Buddy Child Tracker
Zoombak Car & Family Locator
Project Lifesaver
With Project Lifesaver, at-risk children are assigned a numbered transmitter, worn as a bracelet around the wrist. Local authorities have the receivers, which are used to track the child in the event that he or she goes missing.

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The Livewire FastTrac Ultra-Covert GPS Tracking Device transmits the location and speed of your car to with an accuracy of up to 8 inches and 1/4 mile per hour, respectively. But how much does it cost?
around $199
between $250 and $300
more than $699
Covert surveillance doesn't come cheap. This high-end GPS tracker retails for $950, with sale prices listed at $699 and up. And that doesn't include monthly fees for data storage and transmission!

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What service will you need to subscribe to if you hope to track your teen through his or her iPhone?
HereIAm
MobileMe
You'll need to sign up for MobileMe if you want to remotely track your teen's iPhone. Of course, the service only works if your child has his phone with him -- and it's turned on.
Glympse

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What tracking device took first place in GPSmagazine's 2010 Child Tracking GPS Buyer's Guide?
LiveViewGPS PT-10 ($399 + $39.95/month)
LiveViewGPS PT-10 ($399 + $39.95/month) took the top spot, but the runner up was a $49 device called the Little Buddy.
Little Buddy ($49 + $0-$15/month)
LiveView GPS PT-8200 ($759 + variable monthly service fees)

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What is the battery life of a typical GPS tracker?
about six to eight hours
about two to three days
Different models vary, of course, but the average life of a single charge is about two to three days.
about one week

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True or false: The well-known travel services company AAA offers GPS tracking devices free of charge to members who have teen drivers insured through AAA.
true
AAA offers its OnBoard GPS system free of charge to the teen drivers it insures. The organization is betting that teens will take fewer risks if they know they are being watched.
false

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What is the marketing slogan for the SPOT Satellite Messenger GPS system, a tracking device geared toward outdoor adventurers?
Get lost!
Live to tell about it.
The makers of the SPOT messenger hope that you will take your device on your next adventure and "live to tell about it."
Our eyes are everywhere.

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What move by the U.S. government in the year 2000 marked a milestone in GPS applications for civilians worldwide?
the elimination of GPS Selective Availability
In May 2000, President Bill Clinton directed the Department of Defense to turn off GPS Selective Availability (SA), which had intentionally degraded public signals for national security reasons.
the addition of 12 new global positioning satellites
the privatization of the GPS program

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Who is responsible for maintaining our "constellation" of GPS satellites?
The U.S. Air Force
The U.S. Air Force is responsible for ensuring the availability of at least 24 GPS satellites, 95 percent of the time.
NASA
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

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What developmental disorder gives children the tendency to run or wander away from adult supervision?
Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD)
Tourette syndrome
Autism
Children (and adults) with autism frequently slip away from their caregivers, making GPS trackers particularly beneficial for families affected by the disorder.

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You Got:
/20
Comstock/Thinkstock

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