Google introduces missing children alerts in US, plans to expand to Canada, Europe

1 Nov 2012

Google is rolling out AMBER Alerts in search results and on Google Maps to highlight areas where children have been abducted to assist US authorities in finding missing children.

These alerts are co-ordinated by the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in the US and come as part of Google’s Public Alerts platform, which delivers a number of emergency alerts to users, such as storm warnings, evacuation notices and other public safety announcements.

Users on both desktop and mobile devices will now see an AMBER Alert icon if they search for information related to a location where such an alert has been issued (ie, where a child was recently abducted). Information on the missing child and other information on the case, such as details on a vehicle involved in the abduction, will also be provided.

Google AMBER Alert test

Screenshot of a test version of an AMBER Alert

It is hoped that increased awareness of abductions will help in the search for these children. Google is also in talks with Missing Children Europe and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection as it plans to expand this service to more countries.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic