Apple iOS 12 will share iPhone user’s coordinates during 911 emergency calls

23 June, 2018, 00:02 | Author: Rickey Flowers
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In iOS 12, when you make an emergency 911 call, your iPhone will automatically share the location of your device with emergency responders. As The Wall Street Journal noted, Google late a year ago tested a similar setup with RapidSOS and West Corp. that delivered more accurate location data from Android devices to 911 call centers.

"Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal when every moment counts", Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement.

Now when a 911 center receives a call from a device using RapidSOS's technology, the dispatcher's software asks the RapidSOS database for more data.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Monday to review a decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed consumers to sue Apple for allegedly using its monopoly power as the sole distributor of iPhone apps to drive up app prices.

Google also has its own version of the technology, called Android Emergency Location Services (ELS), available on the most recent Android phones.

911 telecommunicators do extraordinary work managing millions of emergencies with little more than a voice connection.

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Apple's upcoming 911 feature relies on technology from RapidSOS, a NY startup.

The main objective of this added functionality is obvious, as it aims to lessen emergency response times by smooth-running the process of gathering information from the 911 caller.

Apple has recently unveiled the annual upgrade to its iOS mobile operating system - the iOS 12. That program, launched in 2015, uses cell towers and Wi-Fi access points to determine a 911 caller's approximate location.

The emergency locator will exceed the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's 2021 requirements requiring carriers to locate callers to within 165 feet at 80 percent efficiency.

"Helping 911 services quickly and accurately assess caller location has been a major issue since my time at the FCC", noted Dennis Patrick, FCC Chairman from 1987 to 1989. The stakes here are also certainly high, given that e-commerce sales hit $452 billion in the US last year, according to USA government estimates cited by Reuters.



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