Plans to microchip children in case they go missing

The microchips, which could be sewn into clothes or even placed under a child’s skin, would send a GPS signal to parents to allow the youngster to be monitored.

Islander Stephen Fern, who has developed another app, called Lost-Kidz, (see below) which is used by millions of parents around the world to send alerts to people nearby if their child goes missing, is the man behind the idea.

Sygic Family

Sygic Family allows the user to check the real-time location and the battery levels of family members’ smartphones. they can also track children’s whereabouts, or have them check-in periodically to know if they have arrived at their destination safely.

The app also has an in-built messaging system.


Life360 uses GPS locations of family members via their smartphones and also has a panic button, and alerts when someone enters a preset zone (e.g. gets home). It also tracks where people have been (location history), where to get help in an emergency (hospitals, police stations), and allows group chats.


MamaBear has a feature to keep watch over a child’s Facebook feed. Parents will be alerted to any signs of bullying or use of crude language as well as when they check-in or get tagged on their friends’ photos. The team is working on doing the same for Twitter and Instagram profiles.

Find My Kids: Footprints

He is now due to launch a new scheme under which parents could attach chips to their child’s clothes – and is also considering whether the trackers could be implanted under the child’s skin.

The development follows another at a hi-tech office block in Sweden, where employees have been implanted with microchips which allow them to unlock doors and turn on computers using a radio signal.

Nearly 50,000 people have so far responded to a post on the Lost-Kidz Facebook page about the potential for the technology to be developed so it could be implanted under a child’s skin, and Mr Fern said around ’95 per cent’ of comments were positive.

But despite the positive reaction, questions were raised by some followers of the page about the safety and morality of implanted trackers.

However, Mr Fern, who lives in St Helier, said that parents could be reassured that the technology would not be hacked by potential child predators.

He added that the implants would not be for ‘everyday use’ and would be switched on by parents only in emergency circumstances.

‘We simply posed the question as to whether people would go to the next step and have a chip inserted into their child. It would not be for day-to-day tracking – for that we have wearable technology.

‘The overwhelming response, around 95 per cent, is from people who say they would use it.

‘But it is the same as something like an MMR jab – some people say it is a good thing; others say it is bad.

‘This is not compulsory. If a government tried to do this it would be unelectable. It is up to the parent and they would only turn it on if and when they needed it.

‘No predator is going to hack into the system because, simply, that is not how it works.’

Mr Fern said the technology for wearable trackers was available now and had been patented in the USA in 1998 by a man who implanted a chip into himself so he could walk into his home without physically opening the doors.

Stephen Fern (left) with Jason Stratford and Andrew Barette

Mr Fern has a history of designing child safety tools.

In 2012 a mobile phone app that he created to could help find missing children launched in America and the UK to a flurry of media attention.

The Lost Kidz application, which is a special programme that can be downloaded on to mobile phones, was thought up by Mr Fern and designed by a team from St Helier-based web developers E-scape.

It went on sale in the UK in May 2012 and was officially launched in America in August that year where several newspapers, websites, blogs, magazines and television networks chose to feature it.

They included well-known technology website ‘Mashable’, US magazine ‘Parenting’ and the TV network Fox.

An advert on a digital billboard for the app, which works by sending out an alert to those in an area where a child has gone missing, also lit up Times Square in New York and the application made it into the app charts on iTunes in countries such as China and the Czech Republic.

At the time, Mr Fern, who funded the project with his two brothers who live in the UK, said the response was ‘phenomenal’ and far exceeded his expectations.

‘Launching an app isn’t a fast process and typically it takes 12 months to get going so this was about laying the foundations so that people are aware of it and start talking to each other about it,’ he said.

‘Everything we are doing and everything we have done has absolutely gone to plan and even more in some respects but there is a long, hard road to go to get us to the point that it really is a world beater.

‘There are not that many apps that hit the front page of these magazines and the national press like this so we are very excited.’

A post on the Lost Kidz Facebook page attracted nearly 20,000 comments. Here is a selection:

This is just the first step for the government to take control of every person in the world, start with new borns and soon everyone will be chipped

Chloe Tooth

Maybe we should microchip people with a history of kidnapping not innocent children!

Sally Tye

You shouldn’t need to bug your kids to find them, if you have kids look after them so they don’t get lost!!

Jess Wade

I’d prefer the pedophiles be chipped so the police know where they are and what they’re doing. so if there to close to a school or park an alarm goes off or something, it shouldn’t be the innocent that suffer

Pinxy Minxy

No worse than getting a 2 yr old ears pierced purely for cosmetic reasons. I would support this. Think how the Madeline McCann story could have ended with the help of this tech.

David Smith

You see? This is fed to us as a good idea to keep track of our children, and us gullible lot will gladly accept and allow it, then before you know it our governments have ultimate control over us and it’s game over. Wake up people. Not a cat in hells chance would I have my child chipped.

Lucy Marstin

I would. As the mother of a child with autism who is a wanderer I would definitely consider it. It’s not about watching them, I do that, all day every day, but it only takes one second, one distraction, and it DOES happen, so why not do everything I can to keep him safe?

Shauna Malone

I’m 13 and If I knew my parents did this to me I would totally flip. It is a invasion of privacy and it’s just plain weird, maybe we should micro-chip all messes up deranged weirdo’s and pedo’s and not the kids…up to the child if they wanna be tracked constantly by their parents and I’m pretty sure most wouldn’t! Stupid idea

Ellie Swann

I can see the advantages of this, but personally i do not agree with it. I think this would be used for all different reasons not just the use of missing people. This would police your every move and it would be more about the goverment having more control

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