GAINESVILLE- There's an app for that!
It's safe to say there's a smartphone app for pretty much anything you can think of.
There's even an app to track your family.
But what happens if such a powerful tracker lands in the hands of the wrong person?
How do you even know?
Well TV20s Alex de Armas put this kind of app to a test and tells us how to make sure it's being used safely in ..."Tracking Apps."
In just a few clicks and swipes Nick Schmidt can find out the exact location of his third grade daughter.
"Yes it is comforting," said Nick Schmidt, a father in Gainesville.
He turns to an app to make sure she's safe, and where she's suppose to be.
"If there's an extra level of security that I can have on my kids I think it's my responsibility to do it," said Schmidt.
While Alisa is too young to be found somewhere she's not suppose to be…she does go to gymnastics class and Schmidt feels safer knowing he can track her moves with her ITouch.
"I make sure that she has this in her bag that way its not too noticeable but we can make sure her and her bag don't go anywhere else besides where she's suppose to be," Schmidt said.
He uses an app called "Find My IPhone to track his daughter--its a familiar app to most IDevice users--but there are many other apps with the same purpose.
Just like "Life 360," which creates a family map.
All apps that use location data work the exact same way--using satellites or cellphone towers.
I had to log in myself on each of their phones and then accept my invitation.
This is a process worth the wait for millions of people who use the app.
So it's time to check up on our TV20 family and according to my app,Jjessica our assignment manager is out for lunch, Kyla Ryan is at the court house covering a trial, and Sam our producer is in the studio. So let's go find them.
The app told me exactly where Jess was...but I was still excited when I found her.
So we found Jess...now it's time to find Kyla.
So we followed the app to find Kyla and she's in the courthouse working but we found her car.
Last but not least... let's find Sam.
Again they all had to give me permission to track them …but what happens if this gets in the hands of the wrong person? ... Like someone you were once close to had access to your phone and allowed themselves to track you?
How do you even know?
It's actually very simple.
"On Apple I'll go under privacy and then there's location services on. I could kill it for everyone if i wanted to. Now you see every app that has access to it and apps that don't and I can turn it off," Stanton said.
So let's say you don't want an app to pick up your location... all you have to do is turn it off.
If you think someone is following you and feel in danger, report it to the police.
"There's not a lot of case laws about personal GPS tracking that would lead law enforcement or the prosecutor a appropriate path for that, said Ben Tobias, spokesperson for Gainesville Police Department. "But that type of behavior would fall under stalking if it was used maliciously."
Officer Ben Tobias says stalkers may be charged with a misdemeanor but can be charged with a felony if threatening is involved.
But as for this Schmidt, he'll keep referring to his tracking app to make sure his daughter is safe.
"As they get older, you want to give them a little more trust, you want to give them a little more space but when they're young I feel that it's our responsibility to keep a close eye on them when they can't fend for themselves," said Schmidt.
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