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App tracks Halloween trick-or-treaters

Trick or Tracker keeps parents and tiny ghouls in touch; it's offered free on Halloween Day.

Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET

It's becoming easier and cheaper for Big Brother to surveil and keep track of all us citizens, so the kids might as well get used to it at an early age--and there's no better time to start than Halloween.

Trick or Tracker 2.0 is a smartphone app that lets parents keep up with their children's exact location while they're out dressed as Lady Gaga begging the neighbors for sweet corn byproducts.

The app works both ways, allowing the kids to check in on their parents' location and send a distress message if their All Hallow's Eve experience starts to take on any of the features of an after-school special or Stephen King narrative.

Trick or Tracker can also be set to send parents a text message notifying them that their children have safely arrived back home, or if they venture outside an allowable geographical perimeter.

One limitation of the app is that the child's phone must be Android-based, but the parents' end of the system works on Blackberry, iOS, Android, or Windows Phone 7. It costs $4.99 in the Android Market, but will be available from trickortracker.com on Halloween Day for free.