India will soon require every phone sold to have a panic button as violence against women rises

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

As part of a campaign to protect women from crime, India’s telecommunications ministry has announced that every mobile phone sold in the country from 2017 onwards must include a panic button.

Once the rule comes into effect in January next year, holding down the ‘5’ or ‘9’ key on a regular phone will alert “police and designated friends/relatives for immediate response in case of distress or security related issues.” On smartphones, the feature will be activated by pressing the power button three times. All manufacturers, including industry giants such as Apple and Samsung, will need to include the panic button on any new devices sold in the country.

Anyone with a phone sold before January 2017 will be able to take them to service centers where they will be upgraded with the panic button function.

Additionally, from January 2018, all new phones will be required to have GPS capabilities as a way of locating the person activating the alarm.

“Technology is solely meant to make human life better and what better than using it for the security of women?" said Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology.

The decision follows an increasing number of high-profile instances of crimes against women in the country. India has an average of four rapes per hour and one of the lowest police-to-citizen ratios in the world.

India is the world’s second-biggest mobile phone market, with over 1 billion users in the country. But, as noted by Reuters, in many rural areas it is the men who decide who gets to use them. Several villages recently banned girls and single women from owning mobile phones in the western state of Gujarat, saying the devices distracted them from their studies.

Image credit: India Picture / Shutterstock

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VitalyT

Russ-Puss
TechSpot Elite
Unless they start charging money for every false panic call, they will go broke in no time.
 

Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
Actually it is a great idea, but abuse will certainly diminish the effectiveness and if the mostly male police forces are not sympathetic to the issues, it won't have nearly the impact intended. Frankly, I think it's a great idea for any country and would be a hell of a lot cheaper than those $30 a month "help, I've fallen and can't get up" buttons that are ripping off so many senior citizens (present company included!)
 
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treetops

TS Evangelist
I was wondering when they would add something like this hit the button it sends out a signal to the police. At the same time starts taking pictures and automatically loads them up to a police website or the apps site. If someone knww their picture is on the net they might turn around and run instead of committing a felony.
 
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Adhmuz

TechSpot Paladin
What a waste of time, so do women in India all walk around with their phones in their hands and not their purses/hand bags/wtv? If they do, then I guess this could work, but for all other situations there just isn't enough time for this to work. It would be far too easy to separate the victim from their mobile device before they have time to react, and even if they did manage to send out an alert the criminal just needs to throw the phone away and then go the other direction. The only way this could work is if it's a wearable device that can be torn off or some button on their person they can press that could be linked to their phone, but for it to be the phone itself just seems like a pointless exercise.
 
J

Jibberish18

What a waste of time, so do women in India all walk around with their phones in their hands and not their purses/hand bags/wtv? If they do, then I guess this could work, but for all other situations there just isn't enough time for this to work. It would be far too easy to separate the victim from their mobile device before they have time to react, and even if they did manage to send out an alert the criminal just needs to throw the phone away and then go the other direction. The only way this could work is if it's a wearable device that can be torn off or some button on their person they can press that could be linked to their phone, but for it to be the phone itself just seems like a pointless exercise.

The thought is great and I hope it does get implemented but it won't help if some sick piece of **** has acid ready to be thrown on a woman's face.
 
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Skidmarksdeluxe

TS Evangelist
Bad things happen when people don't get laid or have internet.
In rural India, getting laid isn't the problem, getting the internet and frequently getting a different partner is, and in their backward, poverty stricken, closed minded villages... bad thing do happen, often aided by the crooked, corrupt and unscrupulous law enforcement.
 

Adhmuz

TechSpot Paladin
The thought is great and I hope it does get implemented but it won't help if some sick piece of **** has acid ready to be thrown on a woman's face.
Not a whole lot can be done about that sadly, that's one crime that should result in castration, truly disgusting humans that do that to women.
 
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wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
The thought is great and I hope it does get implemented but it won't help if some sick piece of **** has acid ready to be thrown on a woman's face.
Not a whole lot can be done about that sadly, that's one crime that should result in castration, truly disgusting humans that do that to women.
Amen to that. I was thinking the same thing. Castration, death penalty, or some other equally as serious consequence for rape.

However, it sounds like the male-dominated culture needs to change.