First Coast Tech Talk | Here’s how technology is helping find missing people



Technology can be a curse, but also a blessing. With recent cases of missing children (and people in general,) I wanted to do some investigating into what kind of technology is used in finding missing people here on the first coast.

The first is, of course, social media. Social media is helpful because not only do you have a picture of the missing person, but just by looking at the background of some photos, investigators can figure out where it is that the missing person went to or where they were last seen.

We saw this happen with Shia Labeouf when he did a Livestream of a white flag that said: “He will not divide us.” People that watched the video were able to tell based upon the background of the video where the flag was at which point, people went there to take the flag down.

Facebook is a fantastic option because of how much you can put on your profile. The more info on your profile, the easier it will be for the police to find you. Investigators can use information ranging from where you work down to what you like and dislike!

Another way missing people are found is through GPS location. According to an article written by, authorities “gathered GPS data of the ground they covered using apps on their phones. Organizers put that data on a special computer-based map to help better understand where they should look next.” A link to their article can be found here.

Personally, I use an app called Life360. This app puts a location on your phone. Wherever you take your phone, your friends and family can track you and see where you go. Anytime I go out anywhere, I will turn on my location so that if something happens to me, my family and friends will be able to know where my last location was, and call for help.

Finally, the last piece of tech I want to cover is something experimental, and it is facial recognition. More specifically, “invisible friends.”

From what I could find, the last thing the website posted was a video created in 2018 showing what this app can do. This app uses your Facebook profile to add friends of people that are missing and uses your background to scan people’s faces to see if their face matches a missing person in the database.

Again, this is all still experimental according to, but the concept itself is great. Imagine, more people being found simply because of a downloadable app! The more people that can be reunited with their families, the better.

If this is the tech available to us now, imagine what will be possible ten years into the future? Something to think about as we all move into 2020!

RELATED: First Coast Tech Talk | Here’s why investing in an electric toothbrush is worth every penny

RELATED: First Coast Tech Talk | Here’s why you should not buy a gaming console this holiday season; Save your money!

Avery Latta-Raines is a producer at First Coast News. He can be reached at or on Facebook.


Website | + posts

Republik City News is a subsidiary of SuccessValley, an online network community for students and aspiring entrepreneurs. You can reach SuccessValley through this link:

Leave a Comment