Your iPhone will soon share your location when 911 is called

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Apple will use a technology company called RapidSOS to share those location details with 911 centers, integrating with existing software, to improve emergency response time, the company said.

Apple is working with a startup called RapidSOS, which specializes in sharing a cell phone's location information to the major programs used by the 6,300 emergency responsedepartments across the US.

But in recent years, about 80 percent of the 240 million 911 calls made annually have from mobile devices.

Some background: While 911 services have been able to locate landline users for decades, cell phone location is much more hard to determine, causing delays for emergency responders. "When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance". 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.

"The device is recognizing that as an emergency call, and it is calculating a very accurate location, and it is transmitting it via us", Martin said.

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The smartphone giant emphasized the security aspects of this feature, saying it will not provide the caller's name and that it will only share the location information in an emergency for privacy reasons. With this update, all iPhone users calling 911 will also immediately send the call center their location. The DuPage Emergency Telephone System Board, which supports DuPage Public Safety Communications and two other dispatch centers, has the connections it needs to launch the feature, Tegtmeyer said.

Those over on Google's Android have had access to the company's Emergency Location Service (ELS) feature since the release of its Ice Cream Sandwich update back in 2012. To tackle such precarious situations wherein just that little difference in time might be the crucial distance between the caller's life and death and/or property damage and so on, Apple launched HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location) back in 2015, which estimates and pinpoints a mobile 911 caller's location using cell towers and device-inbuilt data sources like Global Positioning System tracker and WiFi Access Points. It will be turned on by default for all iOS 12 iPhone users in the United States, but Apple says it will add an opt-out option in settings.

Apple's new feature is in the spirit of recent FCC regulation that requires that mobile carriers must be able to pinpoint 911 callers to within 50 meters at least 80 percent of the time by 2021.

"Lives will be saved thanks to this effort by Apple and RapidSOS".

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