With Trusted Contacts, Google is launching a new personal safety app for Android today that allows others to ping you for your location when they think you may have been in an accident or in danger.
The idea here is that you define who these trusted contacts are and by doing so, you allow them to see where you are when they ping you. The twist here is that you can always decline to share your location, but if you don’t decline the request within five minutes, the app will automatically share your location. If you’re offline, it’ll share your last known location before your connection dropped.
If you find yourself in danger, you can also actively share your location with either select contacts or all of your trusted contacts as well.
No matter whether you actively decide to share your location or end up sharing it passively, you can always turn the sharing feature off again whenever you want to (otherwise, it’ll remain on for the next 24 hours).
The process of getting started is as simple as it gets: you download the app, select the contacts you want to trust, and they’ll get an email with all the info they need to sign up for the service and get started.
I know that I often miss alerts on my phone, so this is probably a service where you want to be pretty restrictive about who you consider a ‘trusted contact.’ Otherwise, your location may get shared more often that you’d like. I can definitely see how parents would want to install this on their kids’ — or maybe even their own elderly parents’ — phones, though.