Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

This new iOS 12 feature could save your life

Apple to Provide More Precise Location Data for iPhone 911 Calls iOS 12 will automatically share location data during calls to 911
Lori Graves | 19 June, 2018, 23:23

Local 911 call centers will receive a precise location that is triangulated using nearby cell towers, WiFi access points and the device's own Global Positioning System signal.

'Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal, ' said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. During an emergency call it will privately and safely share precise location data with "call-takers, dispatchers and first responders" through the software those services already use.

A new patent awarded to Apple has technology for the iPhone to send 911 responders to the emergency location. "This advancement from Apple and RapidSOS will be transformative for emergency response in the United States". The company has also partnered with a company called RapidSOS, which will securely transmit the data to 911 centers. It's another iOS 12 feature that the company is touting with ample privacy measures attached to it.

Dennis Patrick, FCC Chairman from 1987 to 1989, seconded Wheeler's statement, adding that helping 911 services access caller location has been a challenge for the FCC since his time with the commission. The first is HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location), a system that Apple developed and launched in 2015.

That's important, considering many PSAPs are small, rural operations unable to quickly upgrade their systems to the latest new technologies.

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About 80 percent of 911 calls are made from mobile phones, according to Apple.

'This is part of the phone's Operating System - users do not need to have an app installed on their phone for their location to be shared during a 9-1-1 call'.

Individual call centers will each have to embrace the technology required to communicate with the RapidSOS clearinghouse.

Apple isn't alone: Google is experimenting with similar software. The high court said it would focus on a narrow slice of the issue - on Apple's claim that app developers are the ones who have standing here to bring an antitrust suit. Apple typically releases its major iOS updates in September.

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