The Federal Bureau of Investigation isn’t big on making apps. That’s why it’s with great pleasure and plenty of LOLs that they released “Child ID” for the iPhone.
The app stores current pics of your child, as well as vital information like name, age, height and weight. Then, if a child goes missing, parents can shoot off an e-mail to the FBI, letting them know that their child is missing, with all of the relevant info.
That’s right, on the platform that most parents give to their children to play with in the grocery store or in the booth at restaurants, the FBI is encouraging them to use to e-mail them.
Here are the features of the FBI’s Child ID app, and the problems I see with them:
Feature: On demand access to the FBI, including reporting of missing children.
Problem: Kids will be accidentally reporting themselves as missing while they play with their parents’ phones, and parents will be hitting the panic button if their kid is “missing” in the backyard for an hour.
Feature: Keeps current photos of your children along with their vital statistics.
Problem: So does your iPhone and brain. Find me a parent without a current pic of their child on their iPhone. Also, kids’ heights and weights change frequently, so it’s no better than just recalling the info yourself, unless you’re retooling the stats constantly.
Feature: No really, it keeps photos of your children along with their vital statistics!
Problem: If you lose your phone and a creep picks it up, s/he now has your children’s photos and vital statistics! (And your Facebook account, since you opt for that to save your password, jerk)
Feature: There’s a big, fat button to instantly call 911.
Problem: There’s two big, fat buttons on your phone for that already, 9 and 1 (press the second one twice). It’s harder to accidentally dial a three button-combo, but just as easy to dial it when needed.
Feature: Safety Tips and Checklist tabs that advise parents of what to do in the crucial hours after a child is missing.
I see no problem with this. Hooray!
In the end, I just don’t see how having an app makes the process of (temporarily) losing your child better. You still need to stand and talk to the police and fill out a missing persons report, no matter how many times you wave your phone and say “I e-mailed in the info already!” And unfortunately, unless there’s some sort of security pin on the app, I’m convinced that kids are going to be accidentally reporting themselves lost while trying to get in a game of Angry Birds.
Nothing is more terrifying to a parent than losing your child, or suspecting that your child has been abducted. I just don’t think this helps. Amiwrong?
Also, check out how the FBI goes into fearmonger mode and then immediately tries to make you feel better about your odds of your kid disappearing:
Keep it classy, FBI.
Sauce: Tech Crunch