Seoul police, Facebook sign agreement for missing-child alert

July 22, 2015

SEOUL, July 22 (Yonhap) — Police said Wednesday they have signed an agreement with the social network service Facebook to help find missing children through emergency alerts.

It makes South Korea the fourth country to launch missing-child alerts with Facebook after the United States, Canada and the Netherlands.

Under the agreement, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA) will send alerts, including detailed information on the missing child as well an outline of the incident, to the news feed of Facebook users who are near where the child was last seen.

Previously, when a missing incident occurred, the police would issue an alert on its own messaging application and spread the information to public institutions such as the media, banks and hospitals.

As there are nearly 14 million Facebook users in South Korea, the police are expecting more reports from citizens.

In the U.S., an 11-year-old child was found with the help of the alerts in April.

An alert will be issued when a child without a record of running away disappears, under the consent of a guardian.

The new alert system will take effect from Wednesday.