“A child goes missing every 40 seconds in America.” That’s the first line that appears on a poster from the Federal Bureau of Investigation promoting their new mobile application: the Child ID app.
Available solely on the iPhone, the Child ID app acts as a storehouse where parents can save their children’s vital information, such as photographs, weight, height and identifying marks. When their child goes missing, parents can show nearby police or security officers their child’s data in order to assist the search process. The app also includes a section with helpful links and safety tips, and buttons that dial 911 or the NCMEC (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children).
Since it’s recent August 5th launch, Child ID has received consistent criticism from its users regarding a few noticeable faults. The complaints focus on features that either lack some evidently necessary component, or perform superfluous functions.
The most common concern among users has been the app’s lack of password protection. This could potentially turn the app into an instrument of harm, should it fall into the wrong hands. Armed with a child’s detailed digital description, a predator would make easy work of tracking down his prey.
Another defect lies in the app’s emergency email function. The FBI website states that by “using a special tab on the app, you can also quickly and easily e-mail the information to authorities with a few clicks.” However, no email addresses are provided. Searching for law enforcement email addresses online is not something a parent has time for when their child has just gone missing.
Child ID’s helpful links and safety tips sections aren’t much help either, consisting of general, commonsense guidelines such as, “Do not leave your young children home alone,” and “Make sure that your child knows his/her full name.” While the inclusion of a help section is always welcome, in this case it does little to enhance the app’s value.
Though the FBI is to be commended for developing an app that strives to improve child safety, parents should know that there are superior alternatives available.
Guardly, a mobile personal safety app, allows parents and their children to stay connected at the first sign of an emergency. With just one touch, Guardly both alerts contacts in your personal safety network, and dials 911. Once connected, you can collaborate with friends and family, while Guardly’s real-time location tracking keeps your loved ones aware of your whereabouts, even if you’re on the move.
Guardly provides mobile safety solutions for reporting and managing enterprise and public safety emergencies.Our safety apps act as personal emergency phones that transmit real-time indoor/GPS location, and provides two-way communication with private security, 911 authorities and safety groups using our real-time platform for emergency incident monitoring, management, communication and response.
- Read our customer campus safety study showing how Guardly helped improve emergency response times by 44% at a school.
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