Amnesty International's 'Panic Button' App Sends SOS With a Touch

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

A new Android app from human-rights watchdog Amnesty International called Panic Button aims to let emergency contacts know where you are and that you need help, just by hitting the power button on your phone. After all, attackers aren't always willing to give you time to make a phone call or send a text. If you feel threatened, activate the app by hitting the power button five times within five seconds; text messages will be sent out to three pre-set contacts containing GPS coordinates. "The aim of the Panic Button is to increase protection for activists around the world who face the ever present threat of arrest, attack, kidnap and torture,” said Amnesty's Tanya O’Carroll in a press release announcing the app. But someone walking home alone late at night might find it equally useful. Currently the free app is only available on Android; no plans for an iOS version have been announced.

Sign up for top Technology news delivered direct to your inbox.

Byers Market Newsletter

Get breaking news and insider analysis on the rapidly changing world of media and technology right to your inbox.


Tortured, Slain, Not Silenced: Pakistan Journalists Under Siege

The Guardian Angel

Heart Attack Rescue? There's an App for That


— Devin Coldewey, NBC News