Wednesday 06 Oct 2021 | 22:24 | SYDNEY
Wednesday 06 Oct 2021 | 22:24 | SYDNEY

Person Finder beats DFAT and news


Fergus Hanson


14 March 2011 13:14

We've looked at Google's Person Finder before, but its utility has again been demonstrated in the horrendous Japan earthquake. At the time of writing, it had over 127,000 records entered for Japan, including one for Australian Jason Briffa, who was profiled in some of today's newspapers as missing.  

Beside being so immediate and accessible, Person Finder also gets around all the red-tape privacy issues DFAT has to wrestle with, and which give it a bad name. A profile of Jason in The Australian from today's paper has this comment:

The family of Melbourne man Jason Briffa, 25, an English teacher in Sendai, said they were frustrated by DFAT's refusal to release the list of survivors. "They say so many people have been found that are Australians and they've been put on a list - well, where is that list'" Mr Briffa's aunt, Carmen Bonello, told the ABC yesterday. "Why can't the parents get access to that list, because at least you are relieved. I mean, this has been happening since Friday." 

Person Finder was developed in conjunction with the US State Department, and must now be the world's best consular tool. But I wonder if DFAT is working on promoting it, or talking with Google about ways to help integrate it with their systems and needs'

Follow Fergus on Twitter @FergusHanson.