Today we are launching AMBER Alerts coordinated by National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in the Google Public Alerts platform. Public Alerts are designed to bring you emergency alerts when and where they’re relevant to you, and AMBER Alerts aim to help bring abducted children home safely.
If you’re using Google Search on desktop and mobile or Maps 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. 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.
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.
Here is a screenshot for a test version of an AMBER alert:
The US Department of Justice’s AMBER Alert™ Program is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies and others to engage the entire community in the most serious child-abduction cases. We are working with National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), who will provide the AMBER Alert data to Google and make it possible to display information in Public Alerts.
We’re 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 technology, like those used to reduce exploitation and improve reporting to NCMEC.
Posted by Phil Coakley, software engineer, Google Public Alerts team