Perhaps sparked by media-fueled sexting worries or just wanting to keep a close eye, parents are spying on their kids’ smartphones, according to a new Harris Interactive poll.
Some 65 percent of U.S. children between the ages of 8 and 12 say that their parents check their smartphone, while a third of their parents track their locations. For older kids up to 17, 43 percent of parents are checking their kids’ phone, and 35 percent are doing so without their child’s knowledge.
According to the survey, a quarter of children under 17 have a “smartphone contract” with their parents defining what they can or can’t do, while another 19 percent have a set time of day when they must switch off their devices.
For those under 12 with passwords on their phones, just under half are required to share them with their parents.
A quarter of kids aged eight to 12 own a smartphone, which rises to 61 percent of teens age 13-18. About 52 percent of adults own a smartphone.
According to Harris, 19 percent of 13-to-17-year-olds send or receive suggestive texts, while 18 percent of eight-to-17-year-olds use their phones for negative gossip. Only six percent eight-to-17-year-olds use their mobile devices to cheat on a test.
The survey, conducted in August, involved 2,286 adults and 1,217 US children.