Long distance parenting? UAE app to allow parents to "keep track of children"
A free smartphone app designed to let parents keep tabs on their children is now available in the UAE, the Ministry of Interior announced on Tuesday.
Called ‘Hemayati’ (my protection), the app allows parents to keep track of their youngsters throughout the day. After downloading the app to their smartphones, parents will be able to see where their children are at any given time. In the case of suspected danger an emergency button can be pressed that automatically calls the authorities for help.
Only parents can activate the application, which is available exclusively in the UAE, This initiative is part of 169 electronic services and 30 smartphone apps launched by the Ministry of Interior.
Maj Gen Nasser Lakhribani Al Nuaimi, Secretary-General of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, said the app relates to the country’s upcoming seven-year agenda, which is concerned with the field of security to make the UAE the safest country in the world.
In a bid for UAE residents to feel totally secure, the agenda includes reducing the response time for emergency calls to four minutes.
Parents across the capital welcomed the step, adding they will be avid users of the app.
“I will definitely sign up as I am constantly losing track of my son whenever he visits his friends. I can be informed of whether his school bus will be late bringing him home without worrying about where he is and thinking the worst all the time,” said M.K., an Egyptian mother-of-one.
Meanwhile, Major General Ahmad Nasser Al Raisi, Director-General of Central Operations at Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters, added that extra security measures have been taken to ensure information shared among family members remains private.
Police officials added the app’s ability to request children’s locations will enable parents to be aware of how well a school is running its transport services. Each family will be given a private ‘group’ on the app and guardians and information shared in this closed circle will remain within it, a police statement said.
National ID card numbers will be used to sign up for Hemayati to ensure that parents downloading the application have the authority to do so. After receiving approval, parents can instruct their children to download the app to their own smartphones. Guardians will also have the option to hide their own location if they wish to do so. Each person will have a password for access and the app will be limited to families with children.
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