Spy on your kids with new service from GM’s OnStar

Updated: August 5, 2011

Parental control is about to get a whole new meaning — the ability to electronically track your teenager in real time.

OnStar, General Motors’ in-car communications outfit, has launched a service that allows subscribers to trace their vehicle’s location via the Web, e-mail and text messages. Family Link, as it is being called, is currently undergoing a trial run with about 10,000 current OnStar subscribers in the U.S.

“What parent hasn’t asked their teenage driver to call or send a text when they arrive somewhere, only to not hear from them?” said Linda Marshall, president of OnStar. “Family Link’s Vehicle Locate feature lets a parent check on their child’s progress.”

The service offers two features:

  • Vehicle Locate. The feature allows users to log on and locate the car on a digital map.
  • Location Alert. For more hyper parents who want access to their child’s whereabouts at all times, Location Alert sends text and e-mail updates telling you the location of your car every hour, two hours or however often you want to know.

Also under consideration are features that alert parents about vehicle speed, whether it has ventured outside a boundary that they’ve set and arrival and departure information.

Now if only OnStar can find a way to attach tracking devices to the kids, not just the cars.

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