Apple's new iOS will relay location for 911 calls

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Apple said Monday that when the iOS 12 update comes out later this year, it will include a feature that will let first responders "automatically and securely" access a person's location from their iPhone when they make a 911 call.

Only the responding 911 center will have access to the user's location during an emergency call.

Approximately 80 percent of 911 calls come from cell phones, however, which is why it's critical to fix this system.

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Building on its currently-used location technology, Apple says that it will start to use RapidSOS's Internet Protocol-based data pipeline to quickly and securely share HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location) data with 911 centers. We firmly believe that the best technology should be available to 9-1-1 when it matters the most.

Apple noted today an upcoming FCC requirement that tasks carriers with being able to locate subscribers within 50 meters 80% of the time by 2021, and boasts that this pairing of HELO and RapidSOS is capable of exceeding those requirements today.

"Helping 911 services quickly and accurately assess caller location has been a major issue since my time at the FCC", said Dennis Patrick, FCC Chairman from 1987 to 1989. The move is meant to address the problems with dialing emergency services from a cell phone, where outdated infrastructure has made it hard to obtain a mobile caller's location quickly and accurately, Apple says.

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In a similar occurrence, a man was also reportedly swallowed by a snake at a palm oil plantation in West Sulawesi in March 2017. The stomach-churning incident left residents of the remote village in Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia, terrified for their lives.

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

If it lives up to Apple's promise, the next iPhone operating system coming out in September will automatically deliver quicker and more reliable information pinpointing the location of 911 calls to about 6,300 emergency response centres in the US. It's another iOS 12 feature that the company is touting with ample privacy measures attached to it. You can create characters that have your own appearance, choose the skin colour, hairstyle, and also use accessories for your Memoji.

"This is going to save a lot of lives", Wheeler said.

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