An Arizona-based firm is refining a mobile platform designed to help parents monitor their kids’ social media feeds for bullying, and is leveraging biometric technology in its effort.
Called RAADR, the company has developed an eponymous app that lets parents connect to their kids’ social media accounts, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The app can automatically monitor those social media feeds for keywords that may signal incidents of cyber-bullying, and will send alert notifications to parents.
The app also has a feature allowing parents to receive alerts whenever an image of their child is posted on a connected social media site. The feature is based on biometric technology, using facial recognition to identify such images based on an initial template photo submitted by parents.
It’s an innovative use of facial recognition technology that may prompt some concern from privacy advocates in a post-Clearview environment. Clearview AI, of course, is now notorious for using facial recognition technology to scan images across the internet, including social media feeds, without the express consent of subjects – and selling this service to law enforcement. It prompted serious pushback from various advocacy groups, as well as lawsuits and regulatory investigations.
RAADR is obviously using facial recognition to quite a different end, and its app requires the active use (and therefore consent) of children’s legal guardians. That having been said, it has emerged at a contentious moment in the broader discourse around facial recognition.
In any case, RAADR’s CEO, Jacob DeMartino, expressed enthusiasm about an upcoming update to the platform in a press release, asserting, “The beta test has been going great!” Version 2.0 of the RAADR app is expected to be available for iOS and Android in August, and will feature what the company describes as “a multi-parent account feature” that lets up to eight child profiles to be managed, as well as the option of choosing mobile or email notifications about keyword alerts.
August 4, 2021 – by Alex Perala