Google Brings AMBER Alerts for Missing Children to Search and Maps

By Devon Glenn 

Google has partnered with the US Department of Justice’s AMBER Alert Program to show information about missing or abducted children in Google Search and Maps for desktop and mobile, the company announced yesterday.

The information will be displayed in Google Public Alerts when users conduct a search for a location where a child has recently gone missing or where an alert has been issued. It will also turn up in a targeted search for information about the alert.

In coordination with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), Google will include information about the child, the alleged abductor, and the make and model of the vehicle, when available.

“By increasing the availability of these alerts through our services, we hope that more people will assist in the search for children featured in AMBER Alerts and that the rates of safe recovery will rise,” said Google software engineer Phil Coakley in a blog post.

The company is also working with Missing Children Europe and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to bring the service to countries outside the U.S.

Added Coakley, “We’ll keep exploring different ways to improve child protection through innovative technologies, like what has been used to reduce exploitation and improve reporting to NCMEC.”