explainer

The personal safety app mode created in memory of Aiia Maasarwe.

With AAP.

In the weeks following the death of Palestinian student Aiia Maasarwe, personal safety app Leelou has introduced ‘AIA mode’ in memory of her and endorsed by Aiia’s family.

The locally built, Melbourne app maintains that personal safety is a right and not a privilege, thus Leelou is free.

At a single press of its SOS button, Leelou instantly records image, sends and streams audio with GPS location and battery information in under 15 seconds. This information is sent to five selected guardians who can potentially help the user 24/7.

The SOS function also overrides the silent function on phones allowing certainty of all alerts to come through and be heard.

The AAP said: “The ‘AIA mode’ is a vigilance feature of Leelou, and rather than in the case of Aiia’s sister not knowing her location at the time of the incident, pressing and holding the button on your journey, and releasing it when feeling threatened or dropping the phone, sends an instant SOS to scrutinised guardians.”

Leelou founder Jerry Farsoun released AIA mode after being “incredibly saddened” hearing the news of the 21-year-old’s death in Melbourne on January 16.

“[I] imediately knew that by further development of our safety app Leelou, with the ‘AIA mode’, lives could be saved for those in similar situations,” he said.

“I am so passionate about saving lives, and the ‘AIA mode’ could make the difference in less than 15 seconds.”

Ms Masarwe was on exchange in Melbourne studying at La Trobe university when she was killed after travelling home from a comedy show in North Melbourne.

The Arab-Israeli student was on FaceTime to her sister just moments prior to the attack. Her body was found a few hundred metres from the Polaris shopping centre.

Codey Herrmann, 20, has been charged with her murder.

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