What is My Mobile Witness?
It's pretty simple, really. Millions of adults and teens are walking around everyday with a mobile phone in their pockets, purses or backpacks. We just thought that in addition to making calls, texting friends or browsing the web that people could use their phones to ensure their safety. My Mobile Witness is a free mobile phone service that allows you to take a picture of a person, place or situation as a precaution or deterrent. After taking the picture, send it to us and we will store it in our digital vault. Once you send the pictures and messages to us, they cannot be retrieved or viewed by anyone but Law Enforcement.
How much does it cost?
My Mobile Witness is free because we believe everyone's personal safety is worth protecting. Although My Mobile Witness is free, your mobile phone carrier may charge you for sending messages, so check your plan.
How do I sign up?
Click here to sign up. Within a few minutes you will be able to use your mobile phone as a personal protection device.
How does My Mobile Witness work?
Mobile Witness works on all camera phones capable of sending a Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) picture or Short Message Service (SMS) text to an email address. After signing up, you will receive a unique My Mobile Witness address where you will send your messages. Are you thinking your cell phone isn't able to send (MMS)? MMS is a message that includes a picture you can send to an address from your mobile phone. Even the most basic phones can take a picture and send an MMS. My Mobile Witness is as simple as taking a picture or, typing a quick message, and sending to your My Mobile Witness account to be stored.
Can I use My Mobile Witness if I don't have email, access to the internet or even a data package on my phone?
Yes. All you need is a mobile phone that has the ability to take pictures. When sending a picture or message to My Mobile Witness, your phone does not use an email program or internet browser. Most carriers allow their customers to send and receive text messages (SMS) and pictures (MMS) without having a data package as part of their service plan. Although My Mobile Witnesssm is free, your mobile phone carrier may charge you for sending messages, so check your plan.”
How can the service be free? How does My Mobile Witness make money?
My Mobile Witness was created with the help and dedication of retired and active duty law enforcement personnel at both the State and Federal level who volunteered their time and expertise because of their belief that My Mobile Witness could help save lives. With their assistance and that of key State Fusion Centers we are able to provide our service free of charge. In the future, My Mobile Witness plans to obtain corporate partners and offer enhanced features to help offset operating costs. Enhanced features will require a one time and/ or monthly charge. These additional features will be optional and the base service that is offered today will remain free of charge.
Do you sell my personal information to third parties? Will I receive emails or text messages from third parties after signing up?
No. Although My Mobile Witness may contact you with information such as service updates, enhanced features, corporate partnerships or safety tips etc. communication will come directly from My Mobile Witness and your information will not be sold to advertisers or other third parties.
What would I take pictures of?
Anything. Well, almost anything. While walking through your parking garage, you see a suspicious vehicle you haven't seen before. Take a picture of the license plate. Maybe take a picture of the plumber before he comes into your house to repair that leak. Even take a picture of the blind date you have this weekend. Maybe you are about to head out for a hike with your dog or a mountain bike ride with a buddy. Take a picture of the trailhead sign. If anything were to happen and Law Enforcement was searching for you, we could provide them your picture of the trailhead so that they know where to look. The point is, you can take a picture of something or someone as a precaution or even a deterrent.
Is there a limit to the number of pictures and messages I can send?
Should I use My Mobile Witness in an emergency?
If you see a building on fire, call the fire department. Is there a wild animal in your house? Call your local animal control service. If someone is holding you at gunpoint while you are at the ATM, cooperate with him and don't make him more agitated. My Mobile Witness is NOT meant to replace local emergency services during an emergency. Our service is intended to be used primarily as a precaution or deterrent. Remember, in an emergency situation get help from local police, fire and other emergency services.
Where do my pictures and messages go?
When you send a picture or message, it will be time/date stamped and immediately stored in our digital vault. Once you send it to us the photo cannot be retrieved or viewed by anyone but Law Enforcement. All photos and text messages will be stored for 6 months, and then erased.
Do I need a specific type of phone or carrier?
My Mobile Witness is available to you no matter which mobile phone carrier you use. As long as your phone can take and send a picture or text message, you can use our service. Not sure if your mobile phone can take a picture? Not sure how to take and send a picture with your phone? Refer to your phone's owners manual or contact your carrier to find out how. It only takes a few simple steps on most mobile phones to take and send a picture or message.
Can I send a messsage or photo using the internet browser or email client on my mobile phone?
No, you must send a message or photo via MMS or SMS. Since the iPhone does not have the capability to send MMS, we are working on an application that will allow iPhone users to use My Mobile Witness. Check back for the iPhone application in late November.
Can I use services such as Shozu, Nokia-Share, Ovi, etc. to post to My Mobile Witness, or to post to My Mobile Witness and other sites at the same time?
No. These services require data to pass through their servers before delivery. For security and authenticity reasons My Mobile Witness will reject data that does not arrive directly from your phone via MMS or SMS. We are currently investigating technology that will allow these features in the near future. My Mobile Witness will notify users as soon as this service becomes available.
Can I send video to My Mobile Witness?
No. We will be introducing video capability in 2009.
Do you offer Geo-Tagging of photos for tracking the location from where a photo was sent?
No. We will be introducing the ability to activate geo-tagging in the near future. Please check back frequently.
Who can access my pictures and information?
The primary purpose of My Mobile Witness is to allow you to take a picture or text message as a precaution or deterrent. Law Enforcement can access pictures and text messages sent to My Mobile Witness after they have opened an investigation. My Mobile Witness can only provide Law Enforcement with access to the photos or text messages sent to your My Mobile Witness account. We do not have access to those pictures or text messages you send everyday to friends and family, only to those you have forwarded to My Mobile Witness.
Can I view the pictures or messages I have sent?
Once you have sent a picture or message, you will not be able to view it through your My Mobile Witness account. This means that no one can make you show or alter the pictures or messages. This is for your personal safety.
So, if I can't see my pictures or messages, how do I know the service works?
Your account has an Activity Log that provides you the date and time of all pictures and messages that we have received. Rest assured that My Mobile Witness works, and is safe and secure. We take your safety very seriously.
My family shares one email account. Do we each need an individual email address to sign up?
Yes. During the sign up process, only one mobile phone number can be registerd to an email address.
I forgot my password and no longer have my email address used during activation. How can I retrieve my password?
For security reasons, passwords will not be given over the phone under any circumstances. Passwords will only be sent to the email address listed in the user’s profile. You must maintain a valid and current email address within your user profile to use My Mobile Witness.
My email address has changed. How do I update my account?
The user profile allows you to change your registered email address if required. Log into your account using your mobile number and password, go to "Contact Settings", choose "Edit" and update your account.
How can I support My Mobile Witness or let others know about it?
We know that you are concerned about your safety. But we also know that you are thinking about the safety of your friends and family as well as people within your community. One way to let others know about My Mobile Witness is to place a My Mobile Witness sticker on your phone. Whether you are talking on your phone or taking a picture, people will want to know what that little sticker is all about. Click here to download or order stickers today. Another way to let your friends and family members know about My Mobile Witness is by sending them a message through our Tell A Friend page.