FBI Launches Child ID Mobile App for Missing Children

By Erin Harrison August 08, 2011

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. You are out in public – perhaps shopping at the mall, spending the day at the beach or are somewhere unfamiliar on vacation – you turn for a second, and your child suddenly disappears.

What do you do?

Consider that in the US, a child goes missing every 40 seconds. A free new mobile app launched by the Federal Bureau of Investigation can help law officials find your child quickly.

The FBI’s Child ID app, which is the first mobile application created by the FBI, provides a convenient place to electronically store photos and vital information about your children so that it’s literally right at hand if you need it.

“You can show the pictures and provide physical identifiers such as height and weight to security or police officers on the spot. Using a special tab on the app, you can also quickly and easily e-mail the information to authorities with a few clicks,” explains the FBI’s website.

The free app, which is available now on iTunes, also includes tips on keeping children safe and guidance on what to do in those first few crucial hours after a child goes missing. The FBI said that neither its organization nor iTunes is collecting or storing any photos or information that that users enter in the app. All data resides solely on the mobile device unless it is sent to authorities. 

The FBI is working to publicize the app with the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), a long-time partner in the National Child Identification Program, which provides a physical kit to gather your child’s pictures, fingerprints, personal characteristics, and even DNA to keep with you in case of emergency.

According to the FBI, the AFCA is producing a public service announcement about the app and will spread the word at various football games during the upcoming season. 

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.


Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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