The Oakland concert fire and Hurricane Matthew are only the two most recent tragedies that remind us of the importance of emergency preparedness. With the release of Alphabet Inc.’s Google’s new application called “Trusted Contacts,” users’ are able to have loved ones find them in an emergency by sharing their geolocation information with designated friends and family.
The app joins Facebook Inc.’s Safety Check feature in attempting to update the old emergency card for the connected era. Though Safety Check allows people to people to post on Facebook they are safe when they are located in disaster areas, Trusted Contacts goes further and allows the contacts to track and initiate contact with person who may be caught in an emergency situation, or walking home late at night.
“To help you feel safe and give your friends and family peace of mind, today we’re launching Trusted Contacts. This new personal safety app lets you share your location with loved ones in everyday situations and when emergencies arise—even if your phone is offline or you can’t get to it,” Google wrote in its blog.
Trusted Contacts allows users to designate up to 50 people as “trusted” status in the app. Those people can then see whether the user’s phone has been getting reception, or whether they’ve been moving around. It shows a broad overview of the user’s activity, but not the exact location. However, if the user has been offline for a while, emergency contacts can request to see their location, which can either be approved or denied. If the user doesn’t respond to the request within five minutes, the app will send the person the user’s location, or if the phone is offline, the user’s last known whereabouts.
Despite the obvious privacy concerns involved in one of your trusted contacts being able to see your location if you don’t respond to the request, Google said it’s necessary since people aren’t always able to access their phones in an emergency.
Google did address some privacy concerns, however, by making Trusted Contacts so that it doesn’t automatically share users’ location. Users may also remove contacts from the trusted designation and also stop sharing activity whenever they want.
Trusted Contacts is currently only available on Android.
To keep up with the constantly evolving world of privacy and security sign up for the Bloomberg BNA Privacy and Security Update.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)