IPhone users will soon be able to share location with 911

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On Monday, Apple announced that coinciding with the arrival of iOS 12 in the fall, people who call 911 using an iPhone would have their location automatically shared with first responders. As The Wall Street Journal noted, Google late past year tested a similar setup with RapidSOS and West Corp. that delivered more accurate location data from Android devices to 911 call centers.

HELO has been adapted by RapidSOS, an emergency technology company that plans to integrate as many 911 dispatch centres with Apple's existing software, meaning the service will initially only be available in the US.

"When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance", he added. Again, however, this is dependent per country, on condition that the endpoint to receive such data has been built by the mobile network operator or emergency infrastructure provider.

"Helping 911 services quickly and accurately assess caller location has been a major issue since my time at the FCC", Patrick said. With the release of iOS 12, very precise location details for emergency calls will be a standard feature. Though 80% of emergency calls come from mobile phones, according to Apple, landline-based infrastructure can make it hard for 911 centers to quickly identify a caller's location. User data can't be used for non-emergency purposes, Apple said. The good news is that it will only do so in emergency situations such as during a 911 call.

Apple has recently unveiled the annual upgrade to its iOS mobile operating system - the iOS 12. Apple's system uses technology that estimates a phone's location with data from cell towers, GPS and Wi-Fi access points.

The company says it is working toward launching a similar service in the United States. "It has not made the evolution into the digital era", said former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, who is an investor in RapidSOS.

Apple's new feature is in the spirit of recent FCC regulation that requires that mobile carriers must be able to pinpoint 911 callers to within 50 meters at least 80 percent of the time by 2021.

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