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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Parts of Location Sharing Apps

With Dr. Melissa Westendorf from the Technology Wellness Center
Posted at 10:26 AM, Sep 15, 2020

he Life360 app is a digital monitoring tool now used by millions of parents in the US. It functions like an enhanced version of Apple's “Find My” feature that lets you share your location with friends or family—or what the company calls “your Circle.” In addition to location sharing, Life360 lets family members see how fast people in their circle are driving, how much battery their cell phones have, and more. Life360 is a location-sharing app aimed at families.

Teenagers all across the country say it's ruining their lives. The service allows parents to track their kids' whereabouts in real time. In a Pew Research Center study last year, 58 percent of US parents said they sometimes or often look at their teenager’s messages, call logs, and the websites they visit. In a separate study from 2016, 16 percent said they used location-sharing apps. According to the company, Life360 had more than 18 million monthly active users at the end of last year.

Dr. Melissa Westendorf, a clinical psychologist and technology expert at the Technical Wellness Center, joins us to weigh in on the good, the bad, and the ugly regarding the Life360 app.