iwitness is the latest smartphone application promising a technological solution to crime.
There has been a recent surge in the development of really useful smartphone apps.
Last week, I blogged about a new app developed by the New York Civil Liberties Union to monitor the use of “Stop-and-Frisk”. It uses smartphones video and audio recording functions to ensure that police actions are legal and appropriate.
How it works
The iwitness app uses a similar approach with the intention of preventing crimes.
The app, which is currently available for iPhone with an Android version pending, costs $3.99 per month.
If a person feels threatened, they activate the app and video the potential assailant. The video is uploaded every three seconds to a secure data centre where a copy is kept which can only be accessed by law enforcement agencies.
The app simultaneously calls emergency services and alerts families and friends that the user feels threatened.
For all its ingenuity, I do question the validity of this app:
Is it practicable to use in real life?
What happens if 911/999 services are inundated with prank calls?
But more than this, I dislike the way that the app aggressively preys on people’s fear of crime.
Here’s their promotional video (click play when it opens in another browser tab)
I’d be very interested in your views as to whether this app is likely to:
Reassure parents and partners that a loved-one has a form of protection?
Make the app users feel more confident and less afraid?
Prove practical to use in real life situations?
Makes users more or less afraid of crime?
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