Sex offender search apps are quite popular on both iOS and Android platforms. No one can blame a parent for wanting to stay informed about potential threats living close to their children, but do the apps themselves go too far?
That’s a question many redditors are posing after Life360’s “Sex Offender Search” app for iOS reached page one of the popular website Monday. While parents might seem infuriated at the very thought of “protecting the rights” of convicted sex offenders, there are potential hazards.
For starters, where are these applications getting their information from?
Since I’m an iOS user, I downloaded the one linked on reddit to my phone for a test drive. While most of the entries featured a picture and the reason the perpetrator was convicted, it didn’t take five minutes to find one in which the name was listed but there was no information related to the offense.
If you browse county websites, this type of information is provided, so immediately there is the question of abuse. Are these programs making mistakes that are listing non-sex offenders along with address information?
This was among one of the problems that the reddit community listed with sex offender search apps and registries in general. Here were just a few of the outraged comments.
“… the whole sex offender registry thing just gives me a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.”
“In truth the registry does more harm than good, it places a target on people who have done something wrong but by and large are trying to move on and live their lives.”
“… it also labels innocent people as child molesters too. High school senior dating a lower classmate? Well daddy doesn’t like that you guys had sex, calls the cops, you are now a child molester for having sex with your girlfriend.”
“Well, to me, this is giving away these people’s personal information which puts a giant label on them and basically tells everyone to stay… away. Don’t get me wrong, some people totally deserve this like pedophiles and rapists. But there are others who have done things a lot less severe and they’re getting treated the same way as those awful people.”
“Don’t paedophiles and rapists deserve a chance to rehabilitate too?”
What do you think about things like this, readers? Should parents and society have the right to all these individuals’ personal information via a website and/or sex offender search app, or do these technologies violate too many personal freedoms? Share your thoughts in our comments section.