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Parenting of Children through Insight of Mobile (PCIM)


1. Convinced that the world would never see any end to the mobile revolution, Broadband India Forum (BIF) brought out National Family Locator and People Monitoring (NFLPM) after that unfortunate Nirbhaya incident on 16 Dec 2012. BIF is now contemplating to come out with another innovation for "Parenting of Children through Insight of Mobile (PCIM)". Actually, PCIM like services, though not exactly same, are being offered by Verizon and Sprint in US for parents purely as their MVAS business. Many European operators too are seriously considering PCIM like services. For a large country like India and all other developing nations, we need to seriously consider the ramifications of rapid mobile evolution upon our children.

2. With never ending increase in the use of mobiles for voice, text, games, apps and web surfing, there is a nonstop urge to explore newer knowledge, awareness and things instantly by the children using their mobiles. While this is a great step in quicker learning, parents are finding it nearly impossible to play their most important traditional role of parenting their kids as used to be done earlier. With a phenomenal increase in the number of working parents, parenting has become very challenging. Children are of impressionable age and get attracted to new things much faster without fully comprehending the consequences. There have been so many cases where unsuspecting children have been targeted by people who are older than the kids through SMS, MMS, What's App, calls, videos etc. Games, apps and open web have made things even worse. The number of children, both boys and girls being sexually abused and physically harmed, has started increasing rapidly.

3. A quick prevention is that a stitch in time saves nine. If parents can come to know the mobile usage of their children through real time and accurate insight, they can instantly exercise control by calling them and advising against any excessive friendship on phone or even temporarily lock its usage for some time. When parents return home in the evening, they can have a very good friendly and advisory chat with their kids sharing with them the possible dangerous outcome in case the children continue to do same activities on mobile. This is what good parenting in time can save many unpleasant situations with their children. EU is contemplating a law asking all operators in Europe to provide content filtering service to parents to prevent their children from seeing objectionable content.

Broad Features of PCIM

4. PCIM gathers insight of mobile usage of the child and instantly delivers a dash board of activities on the parent mobile or tablet, lap top, PC or connected TV. The parent has very good idea of the daily activities of the child in the usage of the mobile which enables quick parental guidance being given to the child any time. Broadly, the features of PCIM are:-

(i) Voice. Call details of called person name, phone No, time, duration, frequency of calls to the same person, alerts of calls made at odd hours, alerts of calls made from specific places, placing of contacts in forbidden list and white list and so on.

(ii) SMS. Details of sent and received SMS from unknown contacts, time of SMS, places from where SMS sent, frequency etc.

(iii) MMS. Similar to SMS.

(iv) What’s App and other OTT Chats. Similar to SMS.

(v) Apps. Forbidden list of apps, usage of apps, limit to paid apps etc.

(vi) Games. Similar to apps.

(vii) Web sites. Forbidden web sites.

(viii) Social Monitor. FB usage with forbidden persons.

(ix) Locking and unlocking of phone. School time or late night texting and so on.


5. We have known so many cases where tribal girls have been exploited by the criminals by promising them jobs in towns and cities and eventually forcing all wrong things upon these young children. We are convinced that both NFLPM and PCIM together have a huge import as essential Government To Citizen (G2C) services for safe and progressive society in developing India.

6. BIF is working on a proposal so that the government can decide PCIM either as a mandatory service to be provided by all operators or the government could consider coming out with an essential social and welfare service like PCIM as a G2C service. India is a large country with much lower rate of literacy and continuous mobile evolution is making parenting extremely difficult which might result into a very large number of unsuspecting kids being abused by predators giving sleepless nights to parents. We as a nation need to look into this aspect also very seriously just like NFLPM for family safety and security. Both family safety and security and prevention of crime against children do come in the bracket of essential G2C services. India, therefore, needs to deploy services like NFLPM and PCIM as essential G2C services which allow full exploitation of mobiles for managing even the life of a family very well giving comfort level to the parents.

Broadband India Forum (BIF)