Apple will automatically share your location when you call 911

Todd Singleton
June 19, 2018

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

Your iPhone will soon share accurate location data when you call 911, allowing emergency workers to know exactly where you're calling from even if you can't tell them.

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

On Monday, Apple unveiled plans to work with 911 centers to automatically share the exact locations of iPhone users that need to call in an emergency.

Apple's HELO tech doesn't share your exact location - instead, it estimates your location by using your cell tower's data, as well as other sources like Global Positioning System and WiFi Acess Points which can be used by 911 responders. The company has also partnered with a company called RapidSOS, which will securely transmit the data to 911 centers.

With about 80 percent of 911 calls made from mobile devices, it's sometimes hard for emergency responders to pinpoint the location of those callers.

Apple to Provide More Precise Location Data for iPhone 911 Calls

With iOS 12, Apple adds security features, performance enhancements, Group FaceTime, ARKit 2, and more.

We expect iOS 12 to launch in the fall, and with it all iPhones from the iPhone 5s through to the iPhone X will use the RapidSOS system during emergency calls.

Apple devices provide us with the best possible location on our smartphones every day.

"This will accelerate the deployment of Next Generation 911 for everyone, saving lives and protecting property", said Rob McMullen, president of the National Emergency Number Association, the 911 Association.

"This new functionality is an example of how companies and first responders can use technology to dramatically improve public safety", said Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman from 2013 to 2017.

The existing 911 system was designed for a time when everyone used landlines and call operators could easily pinpoint phones' locations.

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