Amber Alerts aim to help save lives.
Unfortunately, a small but vocal group of individuals seem to be annoyed by the noise and timing of these potentially life-saving alerts.
In 2017, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) mandated all wireless carriers to provide text messages to mobile devices that notify Canadians of imminent threats such as fires, tornadoes, floods and missing children (Amber Alerts).
Carriers are legally required to support the transmission of these alerts through their networks since April 6th, 2018.
Earlier this week and back in February, Amber Alerts were issued by 911 operators asking the public for assistance in locating two missing children. On both occasions, the alert was sent early morning and revealed the worst in some people across Canada. Many were upset, startled and frustrated that they were woken up. The larger picture was that a missing child needed to be found.
Alert Ready, which is operated by Pelmorex and the CRTC, does not allow Canadians to opt-out of the service.
According to its FAQ, Alert Ready notes, “it is not possible to opt out of receiving the alerts…the alerts respect the settings of your compatible wireless device. For example, a compatible wireless device that is set to silent will display an emergency alert, but will not play the alert tone. The emergency alert sound will usually play at whatever the current volume setting is on the wireless device. If your wireless device is set to silent, no sound will accompany the emergency alert message. However, this can differ depending on your wireless device and in some instances the alert sound may override your user settings.”
Some Canadians urged for an option to have a two-tier model of alerts similar to the United States’ alert system. However, a video created by Stewart Reynolds, known as @Brittlestar on Twitter, has cleverly outlined the importance of receiving Amber Alerts.
Amber Alerts work. Get over it. pic.twitter.com/AiVf7iH3hE
— Brittlestar (@brittlestar) May 16, 2019
How do you think the Canadian Amber Alert system could be improved, or do you think it operates fine the way it is?