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Parenting Tracking App Life360 Used By Sex Traffickers

Published: October 9, 2023

Photo by Ameen Almayuf via Unsplash

Parenting Tracking App Life360 Used By Sex Traffickers, Report Finds

By Movieguide® Contributor

A new report finds that sex traffickers have used the popular parenting app Life360 to monitor victims. 

Life360 is a tracking app typically used by parents and children, where the user can see someone else’s exact location. Many parents are grateful for the app, but Forbes recently revealed sex traffickers also make use of Life360’s tracking capabilities. 

“The use of GPS technology to track trafficking victims has increased substantially as technology evolves,” said Joe Scaramucci, a human trafficking investigator from Waco, Texas. “Traffickers often use built-in GPS tracking, as well as secondary apps such as Life360, or even social media apps like Snapchat to be their eyes and know where their victims are.” 

Forbes cited a number of cases where victims of sex trafficking were closely monitored via the app by their captors, which meant they could not escape even when they weren’t with the person trafficking them. 

Life360 has worked with U.S. attorneys to provide data for cases, but CEO Chris Hulls said he wasn’t previously aware of the app being used by sex traffickers. 

Kim Mehlman-Orozco, a legal consultant who specializes in sex trafficking, emphasized that Life360 isn’t the only tracking app that is dealing with these problems. 

“It doesn’t matter what business it is, any app, any platform can be used by a trafficker and in a way that is unwitting to the proprietor,” she explained. 

Location-tracking apps aren’t the only ones used by sex traffickers. Detroit’s WXYZ shared a variety of messaging apps that traffickers have used to meet young people, including Bumble, Ask.fm, Holla, Calculator%, MeetMe, LiveMe, Grindr, Badoo and Whisper. 

In another report, Forbes looked at the Apple feature, Find My iPhone, which can also be used to locate someone via their phone. 

Lana Ramjit, director of operations at Cornell Tech’s Clinic to End Tech Abuse (CETA), told the outlet that many of the victims she works with say “find my device” apps were how their stalker monitored them. 

“Abusers tend to put the minimal possible effort into getting the information that they want,” Ramjit explained, pointing to the effectiveness and simplicity of these apps. 

Movieguide® previously reported on how Facebook has been used in sex trafficking cases:

The Texas Supreme Court ruled that Facebook can be held liable for predators who use the platform to prey on children.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Facebook could face charges after three Texas-based cases reportedly involved teenage sex traffic victims.

Fox Business reported:

The victims were reportedly preyed on through the social media platform’s messaging system – prompting prosecutors to claim the site was negligent in not better blocking sex trafficking opportunities.

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Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

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You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.