Once, the Citizen crime app was known as Vigilante, a title so provocative that Apple banned it from the App Store and began a rebranding. So in 2017, it was relaunched as an app based on warning people about nearby emergencies and documenting events in the name of transparency.
A motherboard report shows that it isn’t just about transparency, as leaked documents and security vehicle sightings in Los Angeles suggest citizens offer an on-demand private security force service.
The company’s $20-per-month Protect Service already promises “live monitoring” and a “digital bodyguard”, which can be called with a safe word to direct emergency services to your location.
According to a former employee quoted by Motherboard, the next step is to “create a personalized secondary emergency response network” that connects users directly to private security firms.
A spokesperson referred to the safety vehicles as part of the “Personal Rapid Response Service” it is testing as a pilot project.
Just as a glance at your local Nextdoor post couldn’t reveal potential problems with that setup, last Saturday the Citizen app targeted a person unhoused by posting his picture during a live broadcast as an arsonist Painted suspected to be wildfires and promising.
A reward of $30,000, for telling him of his arrest. Police announced on Monday that they’ve arrested someone else for alleged arson.