A missing or abducted child may be one of the most frightening possibilities a parent can imagine. And in those first moments of panic, when every second counts, providing an accurate description of the missing child to authorities is critical. That’s where the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) first smartphone app intends to help.
The app, “FBI Child ID,” is free for iOS devices such as the iPhone or iPod Touch and stores important identifying information about your child such as height, weight and hair color. Using the camera on the handheld device, parents may also snap a picture of their child. The FBI has also included an email function to share the information.
Parents can also use the app to educate themselves on how to handle the first days after abduction. Two information sections are included, the aptly titled “The First 24 Hours” and “The Second 24 Hours.” The app also has a large, red button that directly dials 911, the first call that should be made in cases of missing or abducted children.
Critics have pointed out that, while the FBI states your child’s information is stored locally and not sent to the FBI (or anywhere else), the lack of password or pin protection for the app may worry some security-conscious parents. Also, the app is only available for Apple iOS products. Users of Android, Blackberry or other smartphones are not able to download the app.