Apple to Provide More Precise Location Data for iPhone 911 Calls

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

Apple has announced a new feature coming in iOS 12 that will automatically share the location of an iPhone with emergency services when users ring 911.

Of course, there are privacy implications to such a feature.

And, Apple says the data can only be used for emergency purposes, and only the responding 911 center will have access. Apple introduced HELO in 2015, which estimates a mobile 911 caller's location using cell towers and data sources like Global Positioning System and WiFi Access Points.

As 9To5Mac reports, Apple partnered with RapidSOS to offer the company's Next Generation 911 technology as a standard feature of iOS 12. The move is meant to address the problems with dialing emergency services from a cell phone, where outdated infrastructure has made it hard to obtain a mobile caller's location quickly and accurately, Apple says.

"Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal", Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement released via Apple's press department.

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

Along with the new features that iOS 12 brings, the latest iPhone and iPad software also makes some changes to how existing features work. Android's phone app shares users' Global Positioning System location during emergency calls.

'When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance'.

Tom Wheeler, former FCC Chairman from 2013 to 2017, said: "Lives will be saved thanks to this effort by Apple and RapidSOS".

In the near future, when you call for emergency services in the US, Apple will automatically share your location with dispatchers.

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