Guangzhou Distributes Location-Tracking Watches to Students

By Jesse Pottinger, July 19, 2019

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It’s entirely natural for parents to be worried about their children’s well-being, and one Guangzhou district decided it was time to address their concerns.

According to Guangzhou Daily, the local government in Nansha recently provided free smartwatches containing location-tracking technology to around 17,000 students.

The traceable timepieces were distributed to children from 60 elementary schools, with the government claiming they are meant to assist parents in supervising their kids.

Each watch contains Beidou technology, a Chinese program for satellite navigation, and is compatible with GPS. Parents can check their child’s real-time location using a smartphone, and an added feature allows kids to send out an emergency alert to call for help.

The watch will also inform parents if their child gets too close to bodies of water, to prevent the risk of drowning.

Zhu Yanjun, the senior engineer behind the project, says that the position detection is accurate up to 10 meters.

While the rollout of these new ‘Safe Campus Smartwatches’ is sure to raise some eyebrows, the district insists that use of the technology is completely voluntary.

The next step for those behind the project is to roll out a line of bracelets for the elderly, with a similar goal of ensuring the safety of Nansha’s senior citizens, Guangzhou Daily reports. 

Last December, 10 schools in Guangxi and Guizhou introduced a similar measure to monitor the attendance and location of students – tracking-chip-equipped uniforms. Netizens were rightly concerned about the breach of privacy, and the potentially slippery slope that the uniform-tracking initiative could lead to.

While the same can certainly be said about Nansha’s location-tracking program, it seems that parents are happy to be keeping an eye on their kids from afar this summer, and the kids – at least some, anyway – are content with their new accessory.

READ MORE: This Popular Taobao Product Helps You Trick Step Tracking Apps

[Cover image via Pixabay]

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