New FBI Missing Child App Could Be Crucial in Emergency
The FBI has released a child safety app that could help prevent every parent’s worst nightmare.
The FBI Child ID app, the first smartphone app released by the agency, gives parents a place to electronically store photos, including those of fingerprints, and other vital information about their child to immediately show police officers if their child were to ever go missing.
Since authorities need pictures and physical identifiers such as height and weight as soon as possible to inform others and distribute an AMBER (America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) Alert, the app allows parents to quickly pull up data about their kids in case of an emergency.
After downloading the app through the Apple App Store, a prompt asks users to “Add a Child” and enter key information, including their address and nicknames. The information is stored by the app and can be emailed to authorities in just a few clicks.
The FBI Child ID app also features tips on keeping children safe and on what to do in those crucial first few hours after a child goes missing.
While the FBI said it does not collect the data and photos stored by the app, there are a few concerns about where the information could end up. Early users of the the app have complained that since it isn’t password-protected, a phone that ends up in wrong hands could give unwanted users access to a child’s information.
In addition, the large “Call 911” featured under the app’s Emergency tab could easily be pushed by kids playing with a parent’s phone. But overall, the app is a strong step toward simplifying the missing-child process with the help of technology and could help save your child in case the ultimate nightmare scenario does happen.
The FBI said it plans to roll out the app to other mobile operating systems in the near future.