Stop a Stalker App
The Stop a Stalker app is meant to be a tool for collecting evidence of stalking. It offers survivors the option of creating reports that include written narrative, video, and photos within an incident report. Survivors can then choose to share the report with authorities. Users can also include GPS to record location and backup reports to a Dropbox account. The app also has a personal safety component, allowing users to set up emergency contacts to alert in case of an emergency.
What We Like:
- Users can add emergency contacts who are not already in their phone contact list. This gives more control and flexibility to survivors, especially if they are concerned about an abuser looking through their contact list.
- Gives control to the user to whether the app can track their usage.
- The Quick Guide to Surviving Stalking provides a fairly detailed explanation of what stalking is, suggests personal safety precautions, includes possible technological surveillance, and explains the importance of documenting the stalking behavior.
- The Incident Report can be a comprehensive tool for survivors to document stalking. This can be helpful for survivors who are trying to keep track of the behaviors and explain what they are experiencing.
Safety & Privacy Considerations / Tips:
Proper collection and preservation for the effective used by law enforcement and prosecutors is extremely important to holding offenders accountable. Although we always encourage survivors to use incident logs to document abuse and stalking, we also suggest having discussion with advocates, law enforcement, or an attorney to ensure that evidence is collected in a way that works for the processes in that jurisdiction.
Since the Incident Report is pretty comprehensive, survivors can be entering a significant amount of personal information into it. Understand security and privacy for both the phone and the Dropbox account, if used, will be extremely important for survivors. The app itself doesn't provide much guidance on this. We recommend that survivors consider password protecting their phone and reviewing as much information on cell phone and Dropbox privacy and security options as possible to feel comfortable before using.
Note: Privacy is about limiting who can see your personal information. Security is about who can access your accounts.
The information a user enters in the app is stored on the phone unless the user uses Dropbox for a backup. This means that control and ownership of the content remains with the user, which is always more secure. However, survivors should be cautious if they believe the abuser could have access to or could monitor their phone.
The default emergency number in the app is 112 for European countries. It will redirect U.S. users to 911 if they are using GSM phones (which are AT&T and T-Mobile phones in the U.S. and all phones outside of the U.S.). Users using a non-GSM phone (CDMA phone, which are Sprint, Verizon, and U.S. Cellular) have to manually change the default emergency number to 911 in the settings. Survivors should check their settings in the app to make sure it is set to use the right number if they plan on using this in an emergency. Alternatively, contacting 911 directly may be faster and more effective.
When the personal safety feature was tested, the emergency contact received an email and text message, but not a phone call.