Search giant Google is rolling out "amber alerts" for missing children in its Search and Maps services, as part of its Public Alerts platform.
Google Public Alerts team software engineer Phil Coakley said the alerts will be coordinated with the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
"If you’re using Google Search or Maps on desktop and mobile you’ll see an AMBER Alert if you search for related information in a particular location where a child has recently been abducted and an alert was issued. You’ll also see an alert if you conduct a targeted search for the situation," Coakley said in a blog post
He said the US Department of Justice’s AMBER Alert Program is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies, broadcasters, and transportation agencies to engage the entire community in serious child-abduction cases.
Coakley said Google is working with NCMEC, which will provide the AMBER Alert data to Google and make it possible to display information in Public Alerts.
"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," he said.
Under the new feature, AMBER Alerts will provide information about the abducted child and any other details about the case as they become available.
Additional details could include the make and model of the vehicle he/she was abducted in or information about the alleged abductor, Coakley said.
He added Google is also working closely with Missing Children Europe and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to try and scale this service to more countries.
"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," he said. — TJD, GMA News