Let’s be real here, most of the time smartphones get used for a lot of nothing. But in India women are using their smartphones to protect themselves by tracking local incidents of harassment and violence.
Safety website and apps have been increasingly popular since a woman was fatally attacked in New Delhi last December. The 23-year-old student was walking home from the movies when she was allegedly assaulted and gang-raped. National response has led to wider use of safety websites, and prompted four women to create Safecity.in, a forum for discussing harassment with a "Pin the Creeps" submission process for real-time updates about the location of incidents.
SafeCity has teamed up with an app, SafeTrac, which has an emergency contact alert button, and allows approved users to track individuals' phones. Similar apps like FightBack and ICE (In Case of Emergency), which is produced by the New Delhi police force, have been popular lately. Critics note, though, that many women in India can't afford smartphones across both urban and rural areas. But at least those that can are able to use them as real safety tools. [AFP]