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Monday
Jun182018

Apple's iPhone will send location for 911 emergency calls on iOS 12

The latest iOS 12 operating system for iPhones coming this fall will automatically send first responders the phone's location when 911 is dialed.This speeds up dispatch and response time during emergency situations and removes minutes from a call where accurate location needs to be given by a caller.

"Communities rely on 911 centres in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal," said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. "When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance."

Approximately 80 percent of 911 calls today come from mobile devices, but outdated, landline-era infrastructure often makes it difficult for 911 centres to quickly and accurately obtain a mobile caller's location. To address this challenge, Apple launched HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location) in 2015, which estimates a mobile 911 caller’s location using cell towers and on-device data sources like GPS and WiFi Access Points. 

Apple today announced it will also use emergency technology company RapidSOS’s Internet Protocol-based data pipeline to quickly and securely share HELO location data with 911 centres, improving response time when lives and property are at risk. RapidSOS’s system will deliver the emergency location data of iOS users by integrating with many 911 centres' existing software, which rely on industry-standard protocols. 


In keeping with Apple’s focus on privacy, user data cannot be used for any non-emergency purpose and only the responding 911 centre will have access to the user’s location during an emergency call.

 

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