EE allows parents to bestow the gift of data

In a move disturbingly in keeping with the times EE has launched a new service that allows subscribers to give their kids just what they’ve always wanted.

Gone are the days when junior might have asked for a new bike or a train set or some other wholesomely analogue toy. It’s all about data these days and EE knows it, so it has launched what it claims is the UK’s first data gifting service.

It fundamentally seems to be a tweak to the concept of a ‘family plan’ in which everyone has their own basic data allowance but if junior has been hitting YouTube hard on the way home from school and anyone else in the family has a surplus they can recycle their data in a show of digital benevolence.

This seems to be a good compromise towards totally shared data buckets, which run the risk of careless streaming leaving the whole family data-less until the end of the month. The transfer is done through the EE app and, judging by the images above, is pretty straightforward.

On top of that the app is being given a bunch more controls that are designed to enable parents to keep an eye on their kids’ device and data usage and include the following features:

  • Switch their child’s data usage on or off
  • Allow or prevent their child using their mobile phone allowance abroad
  • Restrict or allow international and premium rate calls
  • Set what content access their child has while browsing on the go

“Data gifting with EE helps families to get the most from their allowances by being able to move their mobile data around their smartphones, with easy to use parental controls,” said EE Marketing MD, Max Taylor. “So now mum and dad can turn their data into digital pocket money and reward the kids for good behaviour, or reduce the amount they are using, all without having to spend a penny more.”

Call us old fuddy-duddies if you will but there is something slightly disturbing about using data as the basis for parental Pavlovian reward systems, as it seems to present staring at a screen as the ultimate youthful aspiration. Having said that the genie is definitely already out of the bottle when it comes to kids and devices so maybe we should just resign ourselves to it, just as EE apparently has.

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