This Critical 911 Feature in iOS 12 Could Save Your Life

Apple to Provide More Precise Location Data for iPhone 911 Calls

"This advancement from Apple and RapidSOS will be transformative for emergency response in the United States".

Apple said user data won't be used for non-emergency reasons; further, only the responding call center will have access to user location during a call.

A new patent awarded to Apple has technology for the iPhone to send 911 responders to the emergency location.

Of course, there are privacy implications to such a feature. RapidSOS's system will deliver the emergency location data of iOS users by integrating with many 911 centers' existing software, which rely on industry-standard protocols.

In 2015, Apple launched HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location), which would estimate a caller's location using Global Positioning System and Wi-Fi Access points. The feature is built on RapidSOS' data pipeline system to instantaneously share location data with 911 centers.

Generally speaking, existing 911 infrastructure is centered around locating landline callers quickly, but as time goes on, more and more emergency calls are being made from mobile phones, which can make locating a caller hard.

Bottom line: Apple has announced a new feature arriving in iOS 12 that has the potential to save lives.

Apple devices provide us with the best possible location on our smartphones every day. This new location-sharing would allow 911 centers to find callers location faster and with much greater accuracy than they can under the current system - and finally brings US users up to speed with those in Europe. "This will accelerate the deployment of Next Generation 911 for everyone, saving lives and protecting property".

The service will allow 911 operators to more easily locate callers in order to dispatch responders quickly and accurately to the scene of an emergency, the company explained in a press release.

"This new functionality is an example of how companies and first responders can use technology to dramatically improve public safety", said Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman from 2013 to 2017.

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