FBI’s New App Stores Photos and Personal Information on Children

The app allows you to email the data to law enforcement in a few clicks.

QUICK FACTS:
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is launching a Child ID App that allows parents to store personal information on their children.
  • The app includes electronic storage for photos, height, weight, and other physical identifiers that can be shared with police and security reportedly in the case that a child goes missing.
  • The FBI’s website states that the app is meant to be used in the case of a kidnapping or lost child, and the government agency says they are not collecting or storing information when users access the app.
  • “Put your child’s safety in your own hands,” the promotional information from the website says. “Download the FBI’s Child ID app today.”
WHAT THE FBI HAS TO SAY ABOUT THE APP:
  • “You’re shopping at the mall with your children when one of them suddenly disappears. A quick search of the nearby area is unsuccessful. What do you do?” The FBI’s press release about the app asks.
  • “Now there’s a free new tool from the FBI that can help. Our Child ID app—the first mobile application created by the FBI—provides a convenient place to electronically store photos and other vital information about your children so that it’s literally right at hand if you need it.”
  • “The app 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. It features a password protection option to help keep your information safe and allows you to add pictures from your mobile phone’s image library. You can also zoom in and crop images prior to saving.”
  • “An important note: The FBI is not collecting or storing any photos or information that you enter in the app. All data resides solely on your mobile device unless you need to send it to authorities.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Concern among conservatives has traditionally been strong, spurred on by cases like one reported last year, when it was found that an FBI agent was allegedly sexually abusing children and adults for years.
  • Convicted serial rapist Larry Nassar who molested teenage gymnasts was allegedly the subject of an FBI inquiry that continued without investigation for more than a year, raising questions about the organization’s integrity.