Julia Roberts, a 48-year-old writer who uses Life360 to check on her children, ages 12 and 14, and her husband, started using the program even before her kids ventured out on their own, to get them used to the idea that mother would always be watching.
"I pay for their phones, so it's part of the bargain," she said. Her daughter, who is 12, protests against the monitoring, but Roberts responds that even parents in past generations kept tabs on kids. "I always had to give my mother an itinerary of where I was going to be," she said.
Roberts said that if she is going to use technology to keep her family safe, it is reasonable for the government to do the same to protect the nation. "I don't care if somebody in the government listens to my phone calls," she said. "I don't mind being checked on. I don't mind being tracked. And our children will care even less, because they're growing up with all this, always connected. It's just who we are."
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Washington staffers Peyton M. Craighill and Scott Clement contributed to this report. The poll was conducted Nov. 14 to 17 among a random national sample of 1,006 adults, including land-line and cellphone respondents. Overall results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 percentage points.