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


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

First responders should be able to arrive at the scene of emergencies more quickly.


Apple wants to make emergencies easier to handle with its incoming mobile software.


iPhone users who call 911 will automatically be able to share location data with first responders when iOS 12 becomes available in the fall, Apple announced Monday.

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.

Apple first launched a version of this service, called HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location), back in 2015. This used a combination of cell data, GPS data and Wi-Fi access points to estimate the caller’s whereabouts. When iOS 12 becomes available, Apple will use a technology called RapidSOS to quickly and securely share HELO data with 911 operators.

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

Apple assured users that their location data will remain private and secure and will only be shared in case of a real emergency.

The latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system was unveiled at WWDC at the beginning of June, and is set to bring a handful of new features and updates to new and existing iPhones. Along with new safety features, iOS 12 will bring personalized animojis — called Memojis — and tools to help manage screen time to iPhone. The software is available in beta now, but the full version will arrive later this year.

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