FBI Child ID

Short description

FBI just launched Child ID app. It is the first mobile application created by the FBI and provides a place to electronically store photos and vital information about your children so that it’s right at hand if you need it. You can show the pictures and provide physical identifiers such as height and weight to security or police officers on the spot. Using a special tab on the app, you can also quickly and easily e-mail the information to authorities with a few clicks. 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.

This app is included as it is transformative in ways that can provide a lot of positive results, but also some very very negative depending on how things develop and how people react.

Allowing people/parents tools that make it easier to find missing children is very good, but making images and personal data available in ways that are not encrypted and to stakeholders that might have other interest is a challenge. In a future where both companies and governments might not be stakeholders that citizens can trust it is important to make sure that systems are created where the ownership of data belongs to citizens.

In our current society tensions are building up and how information about individuals and their movement can be tracked must be discussed. So while a discussion about personal integrity was not the objective of the FBI app it might be one of the most important contributions

Read more about the app here fbi.gov

The best with the app/supporting initiative

+ That it can help people in situations where help can be a matter of life and death.
+ It can help start a discussion about very important issues about access to data and what stakeholders to trust with sensitive information.

The weak parts of the app/supporting initiative

- The week part is that it does not include a discussion bout the role of groups like FBI and how individuals and groups are tracked.

What could accelerate this app/supporting initiative into a world changer?

➢ If it was done in collaboration with groups protecting personal data and be built in a P2P way where users can chose who to trust (and maybe even share/rate their thoughts about different stakeholders to trust).
➢ If it was done so it helped develop solutions for those in crisis situations in poor parts of the world.


How direct is the delivery of the result the app tries to achieve
  • Direct
  • Indirect
  • Inspirational
  • Long shot


By providing information to users when they needed it can help people when children are lost.

Transformative approach

How transformative is it
  • A new world
  • A major shift
  • A bit of a shake-up
  • A gentle rocking


Starting to provide sensitive data that you depend on in urgent situation is a major shift, but not necessarily a positive one.

How much does it encourage collaborations

How much are new networks supported
  • Strong support for global networks?
  • Currently encourages new forms of collaboration
  • Provides interesting opportunities in the future
  • Restricted to a small (expert) group


This is a week part where more can be done, but it is also difficult as there is a lot of data that you might not want to share with people you don’t trust 100%.

What synergies can be delivered

How well does it also solve other problems/generate solutions
  • It solves everything
  • Several important challenges
  • Some important challenges
  • Only one challenge


Bringing connectivity into everyday life and use it to protect children have so many implications that it will hopefully result in a healthy discussion.

Nine billion contribution

How global is it? Is it helping/will it help everyone on the planet
  • Instant global equality
  • Almost global
  • Getting (incrementally) global
  • Not applicable


There are related apps, that are less advanced, helping people in poor countries to identify children in refuge camps and other extreme situation. If the process to develop this app could help develop such emergency apps when smart phones becomes available also for these groups it would be an important nine billion contribution.

Building on current trends

How well does it use current trends
  • The app is setting new trends by itself
  • Building on multiple trends
  • Effectively building on one trend
  • Not really building on any major trend


The fear to lose children will probably increase as western societies will face multiple crises in the coming years and tensions will increase.


How fast can it deliver
  • It's already happening
  • In the coming weeks
  • In a year or so
  • In a distant future (hopefully)


As soon as people start to use the app it can start to deliver, but the major contributions (good and bad) are probably a few years down the road. Hopefully this app can contribute to a discussion sooner.


Does it support transformative transparency
  • Brave new transparency
  • Transparency that is innovative (never seen before)
  • Increased transparency, but nothing innovative
  • No increase in transparency


This is really a new kind of transparency that is emerging. Very sensitive information provided to groups that could use such information also for other purposes. How data is stored, and not, is not very clear. The kind of encryption used and ownership of data are very important to discuss in cases like this.

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