Apple's iOS 12 will automatically share location data with 911 responders

Apple to Provide More Precise Location Data for iPhone 911 Calls

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.

Apple is trying to solve a potentially unsafe emergency response infrastructure problem. "When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance".

"911 telecommunicators do extraordinary work managing millions of emergencies with little more than a voice connection". Its location services exceed this requirement today, and now 911 centers will have access to the same accuracy.

The service will allow 911 operators to more easily locate callers in order to dispatch responders quickly and accurately to the scene of an emergency, the company explained in a press release. With the release of iOS 12, very precise location details for emergency calls will be a standard feature. The new system will certainly come in incredibly handy in emergency situations, and here's to hoping Apple will eventually be able to bring it to other countries.

This will all go online when iOS 12 ships to iPhones later this year, likely in September.

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When the feature becomes available, 'Apple phones will send fast and accurate device location to the NG911 Clearinghouse when a user dials 9-1-1, ' RapidSOS explained in a blog post. It will see the location of United States iPhone users shared with dispatch responders during 911 calls. User location data can not be shared for non-emergency purposes, and only the 911 center will have access to the location during the call itself.

RapidSOS is free for emergency response centers, but is now used by less than half nationwide. RapidSOS's technology integrates with 911 centers' existing software.

Apple expects calling centers for large metropolitan areas to upgrade more quickly than those in rural areas.

Former top officials at the Federal Communications Commission lauded Apple's move.

The feature, which will only be available to users in the U.S.at launch, is slated to become available later this year with the launch of iOS 12.

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