Censored Cell Phones Ease Parents’ Minds, Wallets

This week BusinessWeek had an article on Motorola, and said the phone manufacturer plans to make a phone for kids. This will have parental controls to censor content and GPS to locate the user’s whereabouts. The monitored handset sounds like just what is needed for young cell phone users, but the needs go beyond just safety and illicit content.

I know it’s a tough issue for some parents; if kids take over the home phone line, what will they do with a cell phone line when there’s an allotment of minutes? Whether parents realize it or not, that’s only half of the issue. Downloaded items like ring tones and games add up, and now mobile marketing campaigns are starting to target kids.

It might be possible for parents to put an allowance on cell phone usage and activities, but there isn’t really a way to enforce it beyond a pre-paid plan. If Motorola makes this phone right, it could allow parents to set a limit on how many games get downloaded a month in addition to censoring out porn and other unsavory content available to mobile users. Lets just hope parents leave a little wiggle room for participation in a few creative promotions.

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