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Missing and Found: Understanding the Privacy Needs of Missing People

When a person is reported missing, a balance needs to be struck between the missing person’s right to privacy and the need to discover their whereabouts if serious concerns exist regarding their health or safety. The challenge is that decisions about the sharing of details has to occur without the missing persons consent, as well as the understanding about why they are missing or what they might need when they return.

Often these very same details used to find a missing person are in direct conflict with the person’s privacy rights while they are away and when they return.


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