iOS 12 will automatically share users' location data during 911 calls

midian182

Posts: 5,876   +48
Staff member

The new addition builds on Apple’s HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location) system that was launched in 2015, which uses cell data, GPS data and Wi-Fi access points to estimate a caller's whereabouts.

With the help of emergency tech company RapidSOS, the new system will integrate with 911 centers' existing software, allowing the quick and secure sharing of more accurate location data and hopefully improving response times.

“Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance.”

Apple stressed that the data could only be used for emergency purposes and the 911 center’s access to user locations will be restricted to the duration of 911 calls. 9to5Mac notes that there’s already an iPhone app called RapidSOS Haven that lets users share precise locations with the emergency services, and iOS 12 will implement many of its features directly into the operating system.

Apple added support for Advanced Mobile Location (AML) in iOS 11.3, which automatically shares locations when calls are made to emergency services but only in countries where the feature is supported.

The new addition will see iPhones meet an FCC rule that requires carriers to locate callers to within 50 meters at least 80 percent of the time by 2021.

Permalink to story.

 

trparky

Posts: 768   +704
As long as the precise location data isn't shared with anyone but the 911 center I'm OK with it. The emergency services need to know where you're at if you have any expectation of getting said emergency help.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,065   +4,867
As long as the precise location data isn't shared with anyone but the 911 center I'm OK with it. The emergency services need to know where you're at if you have any expectation of getting said emergency help.
Oh for god's sake, 911 services have long had caller ID services. Call them from an land line, and they automatically know where you are.

Now Apple is moving "forward into the past", you're going to start whimpering about how, "they could share my precious data, going so far as to know where I'm calling from"?

911 is and has been entitled to that information, it helps to eliminate prank calls.

If that mutt on YouTube published his location when he called in a SWAT on someone, he'd be on trial for murder now, and rightly so.
 

trparky

Posts: 768   +704
Yes but cell phone location data has been a bit of an issue. I've talked to police officers and they have even admitted that getting location data on a cell phone-based 911 call is iffy at best, completely useless at worst. As for a land line, yes... they get that information very easily since they get it from your phone provider's billing data.
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,065   +4,867
Yes but cell phone location data has been a bit of an issue. I've talked to police officers and they have even admitted that getting location data on a cell phone-based 911 call is iffy at best, completely useless at worst. As for a land line, yes... they get that information very easily since they get it from your phone provider's billing data.
My point isn't whether or not they can get that data, but that they're entitled to it, and Apple is hyping a "service", which they should have been providing since the invention of the iPhone.

You expect the police to come when you call, yet you don't want your location shared? How about if we move past the millennial, "my data is being shared",dogma?
 

Madmaxneo

Posts: 33   +5
There is an online service that works with the police database which comes up when you make an emergency call to the police. All it does show them the address the phone is registered to, aka the address you used when you enter it in the webpage. The last I heard the government was working on a system that would allow your current location to show up when you make the 911 call, it was apparently supposed to work through an app. I have not heard anything on this in the last year though.
Honestly, there is probably an app for it in the Google Play store.