Citizen app wrongful manhunt

May 2021
Updated: December 2021

Crime-watching app Citizen has been forced to apologise after it had wrongly named and posted an image of an innocent man as an arson suspect on its new OnAir service.

Citizen had offered a $30,000 reward for information leading to the man's arrest. Citizen features maps of incidents pulled from 911 calls using a combination of AI and human verification.

Formerly known as Vigilante, Citizen had been banned from Apple’s App Store in 2016 for encouraging or risking physical harm.

Operator: Citizen
Developer: Citizen
Country: USA
Sector: Technology
Purpose: Strengthen public safety
Technology: Speech recognition
Issue: Safety; Privacy; Mis/disinformation
Opacity: Governance