Super aid worker protection bracelet, activate!


From the BBC:

A hi-tech bracelet could soon be helping civil rights and aid workers at risk of being kidnapped or killed. When triggered, the personal alarm uses phone and sat-nav technology to warn that its wearer is in danger. Warnings are sent in the form of messages to Facebook and Twitter to rally support and ensure people do not disappear without trace.

A few quick thoughts/questions:

  1. The objective here is to dissuade both murder and kidnapping of aid workers/advocates. What if murder and kidnapping are substitutes, not complements? Won’t this make it relatively less costly for attackers to just shoot their targets, even if it had some general deterrent effects?
  2. If you are wearing this bracelet, isn’t this a signal that you are worth kidnapping?
  3. If the bracelet is successful in deterring kidnappings and murders, what externalities are we imposing on non-bracelet holders? What’s the equilibrium here?
  4. As a friend pointed out on Facebook, “that sounds like a good way to get your arm chopped off”

One thought on “Super aid worker protection bracelet, activate!

  1. Matt

    April 9, 2013 at 8:04am

    And why is it just aid workers being singled out for this treatment?

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