Both companies have said the data does not point to a specific user, but it certainly could. Also, both companies have yet to give a good answer on how long the data is stored, who sees it, and what advisors are privy to the information.

With 75 percent of teenagers having cell phones, maybe these companies should let parents in on their location-based data. In reality though, parents would rather not have some unknown techie knowing where their children are and what they are doing. It’s just too dangerous. Just last year, a Google engineer was caught accessing the accounts of four teenagers he had met. 

Parents already have to be wary of internet predators and monitor their children’s internet usage without having to worry about their kids’ smartphones betraying their location. What if hackers got a hold of that data and sold it to pedophiles?

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said recently, “Today, your phone knows who you are, where you are, where -- where you're going, to some degree, because it can see your path. And with that and with your permission, it's possible for software and software developers to predict where you're going to go, to suggest people you should meet, to suggest activities and so forth.”

What if a teenager’s cell phone accidentally suggests they meet with a pedophile who is posing as a friend in one of their social networks and happens to be within walking radius?

Parents appreciate the ease mobile technology provides in communicating with their children, but with all good technology comes with a necessity for vigilance. The U.S. Senate held a recent hearing to question Google, Apple and others about these practices and will hold another this week to get answers to some of these relevant questions from those companies, as well as Facebook.  Our elected officials need to look closely at these practices to ensure that companies are respecting the privacy of their customers – particularly children – as well as ensuring that our laws are enforced.

I hope that as technology progresses, companies who engage in location-based tracking software are cognizant of the profound ramifications that it can have on families and their children.

Stacie Rumenap is the president of Stop Internet Predators.