IOS 12 Will Automatically Share Your Location With 911 Responders

IOS 12 Will Automatically Share Your Location With 911 Responders

IOS 12 Will Automatically Share Your Location With 911 Responders

Apple today announced iOS 12 would have a new feature which enables US-based users to automatically share their location with emergency services when they call 911.

Local 911 call centers will receive a precise location that is triangulated using nearby cell towers, WiFi access points and the device's own Global Positioning System signal.

Notably, Apple says that user data provided by RapidSOS may exclusively be used for emergency purposes, and only the responding 911 center will have access to the user's location during the emergency call.

RapidSOS' protocol is already integrated with many United States 911 emergency centers, which makes Apple's new iOS 12 feature production-ready from the minute it's scheduled to launch this fall.

Only the responding 911 center will have access to the user's location during an emergency call.

"It has not made the evolution into the digital era", he said, which has made it hard to extract better location data from the legacy system.

Apple also noted the FCC is requiring mobile operators to locate callers within 50 meters at least 80 percent of the time by 2021. That should make it easier for ambulances and paramedics to reach callers and shave precious minutes off response times, potentially saving 10,000 lives per year, according to federal regulator estimates.

In February, Alphabet Inc.'s Google tested the emergency location technology with RapidSOS, but hasn't announced a formal roll out for its Android operating system. "It's a voice-only system that is designed around landline phone calls". RapidSOS's technology integrates with 911 centers' existing software. The new system will certainly come in incredibly handy in emergency situations, and here's to hoping Apple will eventually be able to bring it to other countries.

Apple expects calling centers for large metropolitan areas to upgrade more quickly than those in rural areas.

This will all go online when iOS 12 ships to iPhones later this year, likely in September. "Lives will be saved thanks to this effort by Apple and RapidSOS", said Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman from 2013 to 2017 in a statement.

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