The FBI has released its first mobile app to the public — a place where parents and guardians can store vital information about their 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.
More than 2,000 children in the U.S. are reported missing each day, according a statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The FBI said the bureau would not be collecting any personal information, such as children’s photos, submitted to the CHILD ID app. The data will reside only on the user’s phone.
“Rest assured — the FBI is not storing any information from the app,” Lilly said.
The app also includes tips on keeping children safe as well as specific guidance on what to do in those first few crucial hours after a child goes missing.
The FBI said it plans to expand the app onto other mobile platforms beside the iPhone in the near future. The bureau also said it also expects to develop more types of apps.
The American Football Coaches Association is producing a public service announcement about the app and will spread the word at various football games during the upcoming season.