New FBI Child ID App Assumes Parents Are Idiots

child id iphone app fbiLosing a child is any parent's worst nightmare, and I'm sure any parent would be grateful to have additional resources on hand to prevent or, God forbid, cope with their kid going MIA. So, in an attempt to address that need whilst joining the 21st century, the FBI just released an AMBER Alert-ish iPhone app called Child ID.

The app lets parents store their kids' photos and identifying info on their iPhones, making it easier for users to provide authorities with the data if their child disappears. Parents can even instantly email their child's details to law enforcement officials through a part of the app.

But there are many aspects of the software that just seem forehead-smackingly stupid.


I mean, first of all, you have to not mind storing crucial ID info for your kid on your smartphone. The FBI says it's no prob, but ehh, who knows what kind of malicious folks could easily swipe it?    

And what really gets me is that the app seems to assume parents are, well, totally ignorant. It has 911 built in (in case you don't know how to use the phone part of your iPhone to do that, I guess?), as well as "tips" and an archive of info on how to keep your child safe, like, "Tell your children to move away from cars that pull up beside them if they do not know the driver, even if the driver claims to know you," and "Teach your children not to play in isolated areas or not take shortcuts through empty parks, fields, or alleys." Oooookay. What parent doesn't know that stuff?! Ridiculous.

The app also offers what your courses of action should be an hour, several hours, or 48 hours after a disappearance, but what parent in a moment of crisis is going to refer to an app? I don't buy it.

Last, but not certainly not least, the app ISN'T even password-protected!!! Awesome. Sounds reeeeeal secure.

Seems to me like this app was a great idea on paper, but if the FBI really wants it to be useful to parents, they're going to have to seriously improve on the original format.

Would you use the Child ID app?


Image via iTunes

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