GovBytes: FBI Releases Child Protection iPhone App

According to the FBI, a child goes missing approximately every 40 seconds. Parents can now improve their chances of locating a lost child with the FBI’s new Child ID iPhone application. The free app allows parents to store photos and othe identifying data on their phone. In the event that a child goes missing, the parent can easily access the information when filing a report with the police. In order to protect privacy, the data is stored on the device itself; the FBI does not use the app to collect or store data on children.

Photos and physical identifiers such as height and weight can be stored electronically in the app, which can be shown immediately to law enforcement officers in the event the child goes missing or is abducted. A child’s data can also be e-mailed instantly to the authorities through the app in just a few clicks.

“You have a much better chance of recovering a child if you can get that information into the hands of law enforcement very quickly,” said Michael Lilly, FBI unit chief of online print media, in a podcast posted on the bureau’s website this month.

iPhone App for Child ID Released by FBI

The Child ID app also contains instructions on what to do if your child goes missing and other tips on child safety. The FBI is in the process of expanding the application to other platforms aside from the iPhone.

Of course having your child’s data at hand would be helpful in the unfortunate event that they are lost or abducted. However, storing that information on your iPhone could be a problem if the phone is lost or stolen. What do you think? Will parents use this application? Are there other apps you would like to see government develop?


“GovBytes” is a blog series created by GovLoop in partnership with Government Technology. If you see great a story on Gov Tech and want to ask a question around it, please send it to [email protected]

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