If you’re a teen with a smartphone, know this: Your parents may be using your phone to monitor everything you do! Experts say that within the next 4 years, more than 70 million people will be using monitoring apps to keep tabs on their children. Here are 3 examples: 

  • The first app is SecuraFone. The free app uses the iPhone accelerometer to see how fast the phone’s moving. And if it’s traveling faster than 5 miles per hour, your phone won’t send or receive texts. Which is supposed to keep teens from texting behind the wheel. 

  • Then there are tracking apps, like Lookout, Footprints, and GPS Phone Tracker they run anywhere from free, to $5 a month. And they can show you exactly where your child’s been, and where they are right now. 

  • The final smartphone-monitoring app: SMS Tracker. It lets parents see every single incoming and outgoing call, text message, and photo. And it’s already been downloaded more than half a million times!

A recent survey found that most kids would rather have a tracker app installed on their phone, than have mom or dad tagging along everywhere they go, or telling them they can’t go out at all. 

But critics say the apps send the wrong message. Dr. Enrique Castillo is a cognitive science expert and he says the apps essentially say, “I don’t trust you to tell me where you are or what you’re doing, so, I’m installing this app to track you.” 

And they’re not foolproof because a tech-savvy kid can find a way to work around it, or uninstall it. 

But what do you think? Are tracker apps smart? Or do they send your kids the message that you don’t trust them? Weigh in at Facebook.com/JohnTesh.