AT&T Introduces Pay-For-Play Parental Controls for Cell Phones

Illustration for article titled AT&T Introduces Pay-For-Play Parental Controls for Cell Phones

AT&T's mobile division is going to follow Disney Mobile and others by introducing its "Smart Limits" parental controls: parents use a web interface to set call blocking, calling hours, text message and download limits. But unlike many similar child-protection systems, this one will cost users $4.99 per month—per kid.

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Like Disney's built-in parental controls, AT&T lets parents' own numbers remain immune from the limitations, and 911 calling is always permitted of course.

Websites can also be blocked on many phones, but not on the iPhone, because of the way its Safari browser uses the AT&T network connection. (Basically, the only phone that doesn't have browser limitations is the only phone that has a decent enough browser for actually surfing the good, I mean illicit, sites.) [AP/Yahoo]

DISCUSSION

This isn't new; there's a product called Parent Patrol that does the same thing (www.parent-patrol.com). The difference is that Parent Patrol hasn't been picked up by many carriers yet, although a three or four are launching it in the next few months.