“Don’t hurt me – You’ll get caught. I’ve left a letter with my lawyer and if he doesn’t hear from me within 12 hours, he will forward that letter to the police. It has everything about you.” This sounds like an excerpt from a detective movie or a novel.
All those detective novels you have read and movies you have enjoyed watching are coming to life with a new and free service called “My Mobile Witness,” brought to you from Pittsburgh.
When you have to let a stranger in to your house for some reason, all you have to do is click a picture of the person using your cellphone and send it to My Mobile Witness. Alternatively, you can also send a text message. My Mobile Witness stores the message they receive from you along with the timestamp. If you are in trouble, it gives law enforcement authorities access to your message “vault.”
The idea behind this whole exercise is that if a situation turns bad, you can let the person threatening you know that you have sent a picture of the face, license plate or car to a safe place for police to find it. This is meant to act as a deterrent. This is just like it happens in the movies, with the only difference being it is a picture message instead of a letter. Once the message is sent, there is nothing that the threatening person can do. There is no way this message can be retrieved or erased from the secure vault of My Mobile Witness.
In case things turn bad, Police will be able to access this message vault with a court order, subpoena or even by going through a Fusion Center that coordinates state law enforcement efforts.
This new invention is the creation of two founders of a real estate start-up in Pittsburgh, Anthony and Scott Bullens. They came up with this unique idea due to their concern for the safety of their agents, after starting their new real-estate firm. They made it a policy that all their employees had to take pictures of all the clients they meet and then send these pictures to the office. This way, the agents can safeguard themselves as well as if something happens, there is clear evidence.
My Mobile Witness service is free for all users but the firm says it may email their users with messages from their sponsors a couple of times a month. This is certainly not a big price to pay for the beauty of the service being offered.
Almost everyone has a mobile these days and instead of using it just for making calls, browsing or texting friends, people could use it to protect themselves and their loved ones from the many unscrupulous elements in our society.
There are many ways this service can be used effectively. Children can be taught to use it and it will help them when they are alone at home. Teenagers being teenagers are always getting into some sort of trouble and this service can prove to be invaluable if they are at a party and facing a threatening situation. Similarly, it can come in handy for women who have to travel late at night, who live alone or who live in an area where there is no easy communication facility with neighbors. It can be used when a person is new to a place and a real estate agent is showing them different places. It helps to take the picture of the agent just in case. There are hundreds of ways this service can be used to make our lives more secure.
This service works on all cellphones that have a camera and have the capacity to send an MMS or SMS. It is a wonderful way of using a cellphone as a deterrent in a threatening situation.
One must understand that this service is helpful more as a precautionary measure and not in extreme emergencies. The security consultant for the startup cautioned that this service, as good as it may sound, cannot be a replacement for a 911 call in an emergency situation where the person is threatened and danger is lurking just around the corner.
If you have been putting off buying a cellphone for your child, it may be time to buy it now as a measure of safeguarding them.