Truecaller parent launches personal safety app

Truecaller parent launches personal safety app
Screenshots of the Guardian app in use  |  Photo Credit: Truecaller
3 Mar, 2021

Swedish firm True Software Scandinavia, which operates caller identification platform Truecaller, on Wednesday said it has launched a free personal safety application.

Available on Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store globally, the Guardians app was developed by teams based in Stockholm and India for the past 15 months, a statement said.

“Guardians was born out of a simple question -- how can we crowdsource personal safety, just like the way we crowdsource protection against spam, scams and frauds with Truecaller?” Alan Mamedi, CEO and co-founder of True Software Scandinavia, said.

The company has been researching women’s safety over the past four years in India, a market that accounts for 200 million of 270 million active users on Truecaller. The company did not respond to TechCircle’s queries on which countries the app will be functional in. 

Read: Truecaller crosses 200 mn monthly user mark globally led by India 

Users will be able to log in with just an OTP sent on their phones, the statement said, post which the app seeks permission to access the user’s location and contacts. The statement said it also requests phone permission to show the user’s status to the guardians, without specifying what the permission entails.

The company said that “the user was in control of the application at all times and the app will not share any personal information with any third party apps, including Truecaller, for commercial use”. 

The user, the statement said, will be able to choose their personal “guardians” from the contact list and control when to start and stop location sharing, with the option to also set up permanent location sharing. Location details are shared intermittently to preserve battery life, the statement said.

The application works in the background and the user has the option of clicking on an emergency button in case of danger, in which case chosen contacts will be able to see and follow the location. 

It also allows one to share the location with “community guardians” in the vicinity. Truecaller said the user can choose to accept or deny help from the community guardians. "Community guardians will have to volunteer and they will be verified before they come onto the platform," the company told TechCircle.

The company looks to soon include a feature that will allow users to contact the local law enforcement through the app.

"There will be a shortcut in the Truecaller app that will take you to the Play Store to download Guardians. There are also ongoing PR/communication efforts, upcoming integrations and associations with relevant platforms and authorities in the roadmap," the company told TechCircle.

(The story has been edited to include Truecaller's statements.)