IPhones Will Share Your Exact Location With 911

IPhones Will Share Your Exact Location With 911

In an effort to help reduce emergency response times, iPhone users in the USA will now be able to automatically share their location with emergency services when they call 911.

This data was made available to wireless carriers and through them to emergency services, but major USA carriers only recently started using it, as well as a similar Google technology that works on the company's Android devices. “When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance.”. User location data can not be shared for non-emergency purposes, and only the 911 center will have access to the location during the call itself. RapidSOS's system will integrate with many 911 centers' existing software to provide the emergency location data of iOS users, according to Apple. According to RapidSOS, location data in more than 80 percent of the 911 calls made using the technology were more accurate than the carrier data in the first 30 seconds of the call.

With the test system, if a caller cannot articulate where they are, the dispatcher can log their cell phone number into the system and get their location.

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A feature known as Hybridized Emergency Location is already being implemented by Apple, which enables in estimating the location of an iPhone caller for providing services during an emergency through the use of radios.

But they will soon, following a new edict from the FCC that states ALL mobile providers should be able to pinpoint a user's location within 50 meters by 2021.

Over the past five years, RapidSOS has visited thousands of public safety agencies around the country, said founder and CEO Michael Martin.

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Upwards of 80% of 911 calls are made from mobile phones. "We are excited to work with Apple to provide first responders a new path for accurate, device-based caller location using transformative Next Generation 911 technology".

"We understand that some people, when they do call, they're seeing something that's disastrous to them, and they're going to be panicking", said Stringer.

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

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"Answering the 911 call is different than receiving the location", said Paul Troxel, president of CalNena, a nonprofit that advocates on behalf of California emergency dispatchers. It will be turned on by default for all iOS 12 iPhone users in the USA, but Apple says it will add an opt-out option in settings. Apple unveiled iOS 12 and detailed the software at WWDC 2018 earlier this month.

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