Apple will automatically share your location when you call 911

Apple to Provide More Precise Location Data for iPhone 911 Calls

When the update rolls out to everyone this fall, users will be able to automatically and securely share their location data with 911 first responders to help reduce emergency response times, Apple confirmed today.

According to Apple, its HELO system is able to identify your location using cell towers and a variety of other data sources from your phone, including GPS and Wi-Fi access points.

Apple Inc. said an upcoming software update for iPhones will include technology that more precisely locates 911 emergency calls, helping first responders more quickly find people in need of assistance.

The goal is to give 911 call centers quick access to location data in extreme cases where the caller can not relay this information on his own. "This advancement from Apple and RapidSOS will be transformative for emergency response in the United States".

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"It has not made the evolution into the digital era", he said, which has made it hard to extract better location data from the legacy system.

In typical Apple fashion, the company stressed the new feature's data privacy. "iOS location services are capable of exceeding this requirement today, even in challenging, dense, urban environments".

In fact, according to the FCC as many as 10,000 lives could be saved each year if the improved system allowed emergency respondors to arrive just one minute quicker.

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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Why it matters: This partnership will help update U.S. emergency response systems which are still rooted in the landline age.

The Federal Communications Commission requires carriers to locate callers to within 164 feet at least 80 percent of the time by 2021. RapidSOS's technology integrates with 911 centers' existing software.

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

The planned changes were announced Monday in Nashville, Tennessee during a 911 convention.

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iOS 12 is now available in beta for registered developers.

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