17:15 07th Nov, 2019
A New App That Could Take Stalking to the Next Level
The company has introduced an app to track the whereabouts of near and dear ones though the press release is silent on whether the activity happens with consent or without it
A Bengaluru-based start-up TrackMyPhones.com has launched a mobile tracking innovation that helps tracing near and dear ones by means of the smartphone. “Now one can track their dependents via mobile messenger – WhatsApp, by just sending a message from their phone to the target device,” the company says in a press statement.
However, the company hasn’t given any details about whether the tracking happens with the other person’s consent or without it, because in the latter instance it could pave the way for unwarranted stalking, be it from parents wanting to track the whereabouts of their teenaged daughters to spouses keeping tabs on each other.
It must be said though that the company’s founders have their heart in the right place, for they are quite clear that the innovation is meant to quell the security concerns that every family has about our near and dear ones, be it our children returning from school or of old parents traveling alone on the train or in any other form of public transport.
“The app helps you locating the phone and tracks it physically by playing a loud siren, vibrating or turning on the flashlight to inform. Additionally, Track My Phone using WhatsApp also notifies about battery charge status,” the statement says.
TrackMyPhones founder Mr. Srihari Karanth said, “Our vision is to help the society by leveraging technology to minimize the vulnerabilities of the cyber-space. After the success of Track My Phone, which helps get details of the phone by sending commands from the website, we decided to launch the app to control mobile via WhatsApp. TrackMyPhones offers more than 20 dedicated apps focused on anti-theft, remote monitoring, parental control, and women safety. We wish to continue working for the benefit of the society.”
Co-founder Mr. Shrinidhi Karanth said “Tracking your dear ones especially when they are not technology savvy to share their location is a challenge. You have to call them up and they have to ask people around to know the location when on commute. On another note, during emergencies such as accident, when an injured person or a victim during any mishap is not able to respond through mobile, one can locate them through this app. You can also locate your dear ones’ whereabouts through this app without disturbing them. So, we thought of getting location from the app which is most commonly used and WhatsApp was the first thing that came to our mind.”
Addressing concern over security, Srihari added, “Commands needs to be sent with 4 digit pin. The user must add contacts to the whitelist in the app, only then the app will reply to the commands from that specific contact. Only authorized user will be getting the reply to ensure safety and security.” Once again there is no mention whether a person’s consent can be withdrawn or not.
The app also works when the command is sent via WhatsApp groups when the group is added to the white list. If everyone in the group has the app installed, then one command will help to get to know the location of each individual as well it can also trigger an alarm to everyone in the group immediately to help or locate them.
The app is currently available on Google Playstore and it remains to be seen if Apple’s rigid security policies allow the company to place it on the App Store.
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