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Free Mobile Phone Safety Application Tracks Location, Sends Alarms and Records Data

NCJ Number
250515
Date Published
December 2016
Length
3 pages
Author(s)
Becky Lewis
Agencies
NIJ-Sponsored
Annotation
This article describes the features of a free mobile phone app (“PhoneFlare”) that activates an alarm that is sent to the user’s contact person(s) when the user either misses a designated check-in time or makes a manual call for help by pulling handphones or another phone accessory out of the phone’s audio jack or charging port.
Abstract
In either instance, PhoneFlare sends reminders at 5-minute intervals as check-in time approaches, giving the user the opportunity to reset the designated check-in time. Once the deadline has passed, PhoneFlare begins sending emergency messages, but the user still has an opportunity to call it a false alarm and stop the messages. This disarm function includes a request to choose a color, an incorrect color choice gives the appearance that the alarm has been disabled, even through it actually continues to broadcast the user’s GPS coordinates for the phone. PhoneFlare has an option to record audio to the phone and to catalog the unique device identifiers of nearby devices. If a user wants to retrieve the audio log, PhoneFlare staff will assist in retrieving the data and emailing it to a personal account. This app can be downloaded from both Apple and Google Play at no charge.
Date Created: January 10, 2017