So there is this new application for the iPhone called “Offender Locator”, which combines arguably the two best features of the iPhone: access to the National Sex Offender Registry, and GPS technology. It allows you to search for all registered sex offenders in your current area, and displays them on a map with tasteful color-coded teardrop-shaped icons. For a small fee of $0.99, you can own this feeling of security, and finally know for sure that your kids are safe.
You might be thinking to yourself: “Hey, that sounds like a potentially illegal idea, but I’m also not that hesitant to spend a dollar to satisfy my curiosity.” Well, you wouldn’t be alone. It currently is Number 3 on the Top 10 most download iPhone apps. Keep in mind, that’s beating out games and other entertainment apps… that’s quite a few people buying this application. So what does that mean? Well, the parents who are afraid that their kids are sexy enough to be desired by these creeps, (as well as stupid enough to be abducted) get can find where all the likely people to snatch up little Samantha live, and avoid those areas. And, as the case may sometimes be, they all live around the public elementary school, so guess who gets to start 3rd grade at a private school? And that’s how we’re going get out of this economic slump, one private school tuition at a time.
But I digress. So it arguably is a good thing to have these offenders’ residences on demand, but what are the cons? No one seems to be thinking about these sexual offenders themselves. What if other wanna-be sexual predators use this program to find the other offenders, and use them as mentors to reach their full sexually predacious potential? What if we’ve suddenly created a Big Brother/Big Sister program for sexual deviants?! God help us all…
On second thought, what’re the odds of that? Carrying on, for those who are concerned about sexual predators but just can’t see their way to liberating 99 cents to pay for it, can download “Offender Locator Lite” (marketing tag line: “Half the calories, all the questionable ethics”). It functions essentially the same as the full version, except it only provides the location of three sexual offenders in your area. My question is “How do they pick the three?” Perhaps they go from a variety stand point, and have one rapist, one child porn addict, and one public nudist. Or maybe it’s like a “greatest hits” kind of thing, and just shows the three most popular offenders in the area. “Oh, look Mom! The Elmington Outlet Center Flasher lives only 10 miles away!”
I know I’ll never get the answer to that question, but I’m not really too worried about it. I don’t know about you folks, but I’m sticking with my Game Boy Color.