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iOS 12 will automatically share your location during 911 calls

Apple will use tech that offers faster, more accurate emergency responses.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
June 18, 2018
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Apple is joining Google, Uber and others in providing accurate location data that could save your life in an emergency. The company has revealed that iOS 12 will automatically (and importantly, securely) share your location with first responders during 911 calls in the US, including with RapidSOS' quicker, more accurate internet-based technology. So long as a 911 center supports it ("many" do), iOS should meet the FCC's 2021 requirement of pinpointing your location within 165 feet a minimum 80 percent of the time.

Your info won't be shared for other purposes, Apple said, and only the relevant 911 center can see your location.

The company has already been sharing a rough estimate of your location using triangulation from cell sites, GPS and WiFi hotspots. However, that approach (Hybridized Emergency Location) tends to have a considerably larger margin of error, especially in dense cities that might interfere with GPS. The increased accuracy in iOS 12's implementation could ensure that emergency crews arrive exactly where you need them, even when you aren't in a position to give them a street address.

The finished version of iOS 12 is due to arrive in the fall, most likely in September.

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