There’s An App For That, Volume 32

And the desire to invent the next cool thing moves forward. So what if it’s not really new? So what if it’s hardly cool? So what if it has the ability to cause all sorts of mischief? We love apps, and seriously, isn’t that what the digital world is all about?

Via the Tampa ABC affiliate:

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — In a high-tech effort to battle crime, the Tampa Police Department recently launched a free smartphone app.

With a few clicks, city residents can submit anonymous tips to police and learn about unsolved crimes and “most wanted” criminals on their iPhones or Androids.

About 1,000 people have downloaded the app since it was launched last month.

It’s free. It’s fun. What a great way to spoof your friends, family and people who annoy you!

It’s not that the app is some miraculous new concept. Indeed, this and other similarly misbegotten apps have been around for a while.  But the banality of it, coupled with the utterly uncritical news report about it, reflects both the love of apps and the depth of problems that confront us in the everyday digital world.

It’s not enough that we live under constant surveillance, that our every communication is held by the government “just in case,” our children are bombarded with programs like DARE and television commercials imploring them that if they “see something, say something.”  No, that isn’t good enough.

Let’s put the tools of our own destruction into every smart phone in the hands of every idiot and wannabe law enforcer in town.  What could possibly go wrong?

11 comments on “There’s An App For That, Volume 32

    1. SHG Post author

      I’m pretty sure there is such an app. The problem is that there is no one on the other side of it who gives a damn.

  1. Mike Paar

    While certainly not as exciting as real-life stalking, perhaps this App will provide a cheaper alternative to legal fees for the [law enforcement] wannabes…

    [Ed. Note: Your comment violated my no Zimmerman policy.]

    1. SHG Post author

      So you favor this idea? Or in an attempt to be snarky, merely given the appearance of favoring it so that someone who doesn’t see the sarcasm will be left to think that it’s not such a bad idea after all?

  2. Carl H

    Given that actual law enforcement personnel have previously used Crimestoppers for their own nefarious purposes – I seem to recall in the case of Shareef Cousin that one homicide detective decided to phone in the tip to Crimestoppers and pick up the reward himself – I shudder to think what ways they will come up with to game the system now.

    1. Jack

      Nothing says Anonymous like that little “app permissions” popup when you install the “TampaPD Mobile” App….
      “This app needs access to the following:
      – Storage (add/delete)
      – Services that cost you money (directly call phone numbers)
      – Network Communications (full internet access)
      – Your Location (Fine GPS location)”
      This is the ACTUAL permissions this app requires you to have when you install it. It isn’t just doubtful, they are flat out lying that it is anonymous.

  3. Christian deFrancqueville

    I heard about an App that would automatically upload phone video to a server in real time. That is a great idea. I am hoping that technology will eventually improve the quality of police of officers. As we are aware, the police often confiscate, or destroy video of encounters with folks for nefarious reasons.

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