IOS 12 911 calls will share your location with first responders

Apple iPhone Emergency 911

Most 911 emergency calls are made by someone who is at the scene of the emergency, which is why figuring out where they are quickly is so vital. It uses cell-tower data, GPS, and Wi-Fi access points to estimate a mobile 911 caller's location.

Apple is trying to solve a potentially unsafe emergency response infrastructure problem.

Emergency responders are sometimes dispatched a mile or more away from a caller's location. In iOS 12, when you make an emergency 911 call, your iPhone will automatically share the location of your device with emergency responders.

"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. It will also be utilizing RapidSOS's "Internet Protocol-based data pipeline" to share users' HELO data with 911 operators.

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The new feature will be packaged as part of iOS 12, an iPhone software update due later this year. Its location services exceed this requirement today, and now 911 centers will have access to the same accuracy. "When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance". Global Positioning System location data will also be used. We'll find out more when iOS 12 launches later this year, so stay tuned.

Apple says the location data can not be shared if 911 has not been called, and that RapidSOS' data will be separate from that held by cellphone carriers. Android's phone app shares users' Global Positioning System location during emergency calls.

When the feature becomes available, 'Apple phones will send fast and accurate device location to the NG911 Clearinghouse when a user dials 9-1-1, ' RapidSOS explained in a blog post. The service is free for call centers to implement.

Former top officials at the Federal Communications Commission lauded Apple's move.

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