The business and culture of our digital lives,
from the L.A. Times

« Previous Post | Technology Home | Next Post »

Child ID, FBI's first Apple iPhone app, is unveiled

August 5, 2011 |  7:39 pm


The FBI released its first app for Apple's iPhone on Friday, called Child ID.

The app can store photos and information on a child, such as height, weight, date of birth, gender, ethnicity, hair and eye color and whether or not they have pierced ears.

"Using a special tab on the app, you can also quickly and easily e-mail the information to authorities with a few clicks" in case a child goes missing or in other emergencies, the FBI said in announcing the app's release.

Parents and guardians of a child can also call 911 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children from within the app. Child ID also has a list of safety tips for parents and a checklist of things to do if an emergency arises.

The phone can store multiple entries for multiple children, but filing out information about a child doesn't automatically send it to the FBI. Everything entered using the app stays on a parent's device running Apple's iOS software, which includes the iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

The only time the information is shared with law enforcement is when a user emails an entry on a child to police or the FBI.

So for those worried about their child's info getting stolen, a passcode lock would be a good call.

The app itself has no password lock-down feature (but that might not be such a bad idea FBI developers).


A tablet computer for babies?

Obsessive parents beware: Evoz has arrived

Facebook's new 'Expected: Child' tag sparks outcry

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Image: Screenshots of the FBI's Child ID app running on Apple's iPhone. Credit: FBI.