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April 14, 2009

Need to track sex offenders, there's an app for that...

Anyone who enjoys the new iPhone ads spotlighting interesting applications can join me in wondering if the newest app will get its own commercial.  This press release provides the details:

The WatchOut! iPhone application, which enables consumers to search any given area for registered sex offenders based on location or specific name, officially launches today. Ten percent of profits from the WatchOut! application go to the Domestic Violence Crisis Center (www.dvccct.org).

The WatchOut! application features an easy-to-use interface that enables users to identify dangers around them by searching for registered sex offenders by zip code or by name. The program also allows the user to determine where the highest concentrations of offenders live by plotting the locations on a map. The WatchOut! application is perfect for parents of young children, people who are planning to move to a new area, those who are in the dating scene and anyone else who is interested in knowing who is nearby in order to be safer.

Believing that nothing is more important than safety, WatchOut! Software, LLC in partnership with Mobile Simplicity (www.mSimplicity.com) utilize the power of the iPhone to make consumers better informed about potential dangers. The reality is that nearly everyone lives near a registered sex offender, but few are aware of who these people are and where they live. "We feel that it is important for people who are moving into a new area to be aware of their surroundings and any possible dangers to their family," said Rick Krakowski, President of Mobile Simplicity, the firm that developed the mobile application. "It should be a part of anyone's research when looking into a new area, or even to increase awareness in one's current neighborhood."

April 14, 2009 at 08:52 AM | Permalink

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» WatchOut! An iPhone Sex Offender Tracking Application? from The Faculty Lounge
Thanks to Doug Berman for surfacing this new product, WatchOut!, an iPhone app which allows phone owners to search for sex offenders wherever they are. The product press release is here. From the press release: The WatchOut! application features an... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 16, 2009 10:49:57 AM

Comments

"Believing that nothing is more important than safety money, WatchOut! Software, LLC in partnership with Mobile Simplicity (www.mSimplicity.com) utilize the power of the iPhone to make consumers better informed more frightened about potential improbable dangers."

Fixed.

Posted by: DK | Apr 14, 2009 9:29:04 AM

"The WatchOut! application is perfect for parents of young children,
people who are planning to move to a new area, those who are in the
dating scene and anyone else who is interested in knowing who is
nearby in order to be safer."

Oh dear, oh dear.

NLO

Posted by: Dr Nigel Leigh Oldfield | Apr 14, 2009 10:24:20 AM

Now all we need is a GPS device that plots travel routes that doesn't take you within 3.2 miles of a sex offender. God forbide those silly sex offenders from getting into a car and tripping up all these fear inducing devices.

Posted by: MarkM | Apr 14, 2009 11:47:57 AM

I would like to say this is hysteria taken to a new level...but, unfortunately, its been at this rediculous level for some time now. I guess it was only a matter of time before someone found a way to benefit commercially from the hysteria. This is almost -- but not quite -- as bad (and laughable) as the “sex offender radar” device, which this blog has posted about.

I continue to be amazed and appalled.

Posted by: DEJ | Apr 14, 2009 12:20:59 PM

How long will it be before all sex offenders have to always display a red scarlet "S" at all times?

Posted by: Zack | Apr 14, 2009 7:49:59 PM

A lot of good all of this stupid hysteria did for the safety of that little girl who was allegedly kidnapped, raped and killed by a Sunday School teacher in California. It's a good thing we all have this false sense of security by knowing where all of these "dangerous" people live. I'm sure this app. would have saved that girl's life! NOT!!!

Posted by: George | Apr 14, 2009 11:20:56 PM

That's a different George, not the Third Place George, but I agree in large part. People are already calling for new law. What they will be is anyone's guess. Maybe a petty theft registry, or maybe anyone with a misdemeanor can't teach Sunday School, although the poor child was a neighbor, not a Sunday School student.

Posted by: George | Apr 15, 2009 1:08:12 AM

Big difference between a "petty thefts" and sex offenses. As the parent of a young child, I get the Attorney General sex offender updates for our home, my parents, my sisters', etc. And an application for it--why not? I love my facebook app--so bring on the Watchout software.

I want that information. Perhaps we need to change the legislation, make registering up to a judge's discretion--I agree with changing the status quo. And notification and software like this are not sure-fire preventions for fluke murders like the CA Sunday School teacher, but the more information--the better for me and mine.

Posted by: Gov'tGirl | Apr 15, 2009 1:38:38 PM

GovtGirl,

fluke murders? Most new sexual crimes are committed by people... not on the registry. I think its sadly ironic about that girls death. I saw earlier news reports of their family members/friends talking about 'pedophiles' and sex offenders in the area then it comes out that its not a sex offender or 'stranger' or a man at all. But I'm glad you seem to like the 'app' and updates you get from the registry in your area but the 'facts' show that most likely, if something happens to your kid it will probably be a family member that does it (and not on the registry).

Posted by: huh? | Apr 15, 2009 2:52:54 PM

Gov'tGirl: Big difference between a "petty thefts" and sex offenses.

True, but that was the extent of her criminal history and people are complaining about it.

Out of curiosity, what do you think the odds are that you or yours will suffer at the hands of a registered sex offender? If this information wasn't publicly available, by how much would that increase the odds of running into danger?

Put another way, if the information were only available at police stations after showing I.D., how often would you encounter situations that would justify going to the trouble of traveling to the station to access the information?

I'm trying to understand your perspective of the risks and why you think this app benefits you as compared to, for example, traveling to the police station for the information.

Posted by: George | Apr 15, 2009 5:44:24 PM

Hi,
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Posted by: Andreas28 | Apr 30, 2009 10:11:05 AM

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