The Point

The Point

The Point

Circle of Safety or Invasion of Privacy?

Life 360 Has Backfired
(Graphic by Quinn Kearns)

For years since its creation, Life360 has hindered teens’ freedom and allowed for overbearing parents to take control of their kids’ lives. The app provides parents with unnecessary information about their kids, opening the families up to a whole new world of dystopian location tracking devices, speed and gas monitors, headphone usage scanners, and battery percentage tracers. 

Kids have complained about the lack of privacy and freedom that they have because of Life360. They feel like they are constantly being watched by their parents, and that they can never escape their gaze.  

Critics and users alike complain about the app and how it breaks down important family bonds. Kids are starting to lie more often, and parents are getting increasingly strict. It encourages unhealthy standards of openness and privacy in the home environment. 

Created in 2008 as a family social networking app, Life360 was originally supposed to be used by parents to stay connected with their children during school and work. As technology has improved, there have been many updates and changes made to the app. 

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Parents can now view location, driving history, speed, phone usage, acceleration rates, and hard braking. The app has since become a source of anxiety and fear for many users. Kids feel like they can’t do anything without being monitored by their parents, causing stress and feelings of betrayal. Some parents have become obsessed with tracking and viewing children’s information on Life360, stressing about parts of their lives they should not be able to control. This proves that this app causes discomfort on both sides.

Many critics have complained about the controversies surrounding Life360’s data consumption habits. It has been proven to sell user information and data without consent, and assist online stalkers. Also, the app can be used as a tool for emotional abuse by parents whose kids have recently left the home and gone to college. They must decide whether or not to keep Life360 on their phones, continuing to enable their parents to view every aspect of their life. This can be detrimental to their development in the new college environment, feeling that they never really left home.

In order for agreements to be made, families must continue to figure out how to maintain these boundaries safely and healthily, while also navigating this new technology. For some, this may mean turning off location services or coming up with a compromised schedule regarding the use of Life360, but there is hope on the horizon for a more healthy form of communication between kids and parents.

About the Contributor
Ruby Mayrose, Reporter