I'm an active member of Android Enthusiasts Stack Exchange and recently came across this question by a parent, asking for advice on spying on his teenage (I'm assuming) son's texts without getting caught. I suggested a few services which claim to do what he's asking for.
But it made me think. I'm not a parent, but I'm engaged and excited about parenthood in my future.
The first thing that came to my mind is that if I distrusted my teenage son to that extent, I wouldn't let him own a phone in the first place. And if I made the choice to entrust him with a cell phone, I wouldn't want to undermine his trust by discreetly reading his private conversations.
I personally support the ideas of open communication and privacy, and I'm thus against censorship and invasion of that privacy.
I would want my son to see me as a trusting and trustworthy authority - and I feel that reading private communications could disrupt that effort on two fronts:
- If he finds out that I'm spying on him, I could lose some of his trust .
- If I find out too much of his personal life, it could affect my judgment and demeanor toward him.
If I suspected my son was into something dangerous or illegal, wouldn't it be best to be open with him and try to be a source of support, rather than an antagonist?
Am I being unrealistic here? Is my pre-parenthood naivete combining with my open-source mindset?