Apple’s iPhone will speed up 911 location info for first responders

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Apple's software update will automatically and securely share their location data with 911 dispatchers in an effort to improve accuracy and reduce response times.

The move is meant to address the problems with dialing emergency services from a cell phone, where outdated infrastructure has made it hard to obtain a mobile caller's location quickly and accurately, Apple says.

It states that "user data can not be used for any non-emergency goal and only the responding 911 center will have access to the user's location during an emergency call".

Apple has announced that iPhone users in the United States who make 911 calls will be able to "automatically and securely" share their location data with first responders later this year.

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"Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal", said Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook in a statement.

In 2015, the FCC created a mandate that requires major carriers to provide accurate location data for 80 per cent of emergency service calls by 2021.

Apple's iOS 12 will arrive in the fall. He said that not all callers in an emergency situation are able to articulate their location due to medical distress or being in a situation where speaking could put them in danger. Apple will also use tools developed by the company RapidSOS to quickly share that data with 911 call centres.

'This is part of the phone's Operating System - users do not need to have an app installed on their phone for their location to be shared during a 9-1-1 call'.

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Individual call centers will each have to embrace the technology required to communicate with the RapidSOS clearinghouse.

Two former FCC heads -Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman from 2013 to 2017, and Dennis Patrick, FCC Chairman from 1987 to 1989- have applauded Apple's move.

Apple's iOS 12 (officially announced during the company's WWDC conference in early June) will likely launch in September, alongside the likely launch of Apple's new iPhones.

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