While news of missing children seems to be unceasing and often end in the worst tragedy, the FBI rolled out its first mobile application this past weekend, aiming to be the aid of parents before and when children go missing.
A child turns up missing in the U.S. every 40 seconds, with some never returning home, says the FBI.
"Child ID app" will allow parents to electronically store photos and critical information about their children, allowing them to send the information to the police when needed. Simply with a few clicks, information such as height and weight of the child as well as the photos uploaded on the app can be emailed to the officials.
The app also provides tips on keeping children safe and guidance on what to do in the first few crucial hours after a child goes missing.
The FBI is now working with the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) to raise awareness about the app. AFCA is a long-time partner for the FBI in the National Child Identification Program that offers a kit to gather children's pictures, fingerprints, personal characteristics, and even DNA to keep with parents in case of emergency.
The AFCA is producing a public service announcement about the app and will spread the word at various football games during the upcoming season, said the FBI.
The FBI assured users that the data entered in the app is not collected or stored by the FBI, but rather resides solely on the mobile devices, until the users choose to send it to authorities.
However, the app does not have password protection, and therefore the information can be stolen when the iPhone is stolen. Once you entrust all your children's information to the app, their security could then partly depend on how well you protect your phone.
The Child ID app can be downloaded for free, but is only available on the iPhone. They FBI are hoping to make the app available on more mobile devices in the future. More features will be added to the app in the future.