Google Person Finder YolandaEverything is searchable on the Internet – almost. The things that confuse and wonder the minds of the people take many efforts before to be answered as those answers reside either on libraries, or from other primary sources like people themselves. In contrast, people nowadays take a little bit of effort to search on wide variety of topics. However, there is this one search application that intends search on people’s whereabouts, the Google Person Finder.

Aside from cars and other stolen expensive stuff, lost persons are hard to find. They may either be kidnapped or missing due to inevitable circumstances and calamities like super typhoon Yolanda that hit the Philippines very recently. In this case, Google Person Finder somehow comes in handy as it can be seen as an effective tool to search for Yolanda victims. The users have two options, which are: “I’m Looking for Someone” and “I Have Information about Someone”.

Google Person Finder lets people contribute information to the database and receive updates by using the Person Finder API which is based on PFIF open standard. Additionally, this web application can be embedded as a gadget on personal web pages. If other registries hold information about someone, it can be added to the database in a common format. Practically, anyone can send out information and search on the database. The public has full access. However, there is no guarantee that the data shown on the application are accurate as Google does not verify and review the data.

The information gathered on the database does not stay there for a long time because Google sets a limit depending on crisis or calamities status and delete the data accordingly to the Privacy Policy to protect the individual’s privacy. Technically, the relevance of the data is preserved.

There is probably a high chance of falsifying information that would lead to ineffectiveness of application though its intention is worthy. The success of the application depends on the attitude and morale of the people who participate. With the current situation that is happening in the Philippines in the search for Yolanda victims, Google Person Finder should be an aid and not another ache because people’s lives are no joke in time of these calamities.