Apple finally lets U.S. callers share their location with 911

Apple to Provide More Precise Location Data for iPhone 911 Calls

Approximately 80 percent of 911 calls come from cell phones, however, which is why it's critical to fix this system.

Your iPhone will soon share accurate location data when you call 911, allowing emergency workers to know exactly where you're calling from even if you can't tell them.

About 80 percent of 911 calls are made from mobile phones, according to Apple. Earlier this year, Apple added a similar technology called Advanced Mobile Location to the iPhone, mostly geared toward the European market.

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said the new service is the "best available technology" and will "help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance".

Apple plans to use a service called HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location), which it launched in 2015, to estimate a callers location using Global Positioning System and Wi-Fi access points.

Apple announced Monday that it will use technology from startup RapidSOS to improve the location information sent to emergency responders when iPhone users call 911. This protocol's goal is to quickly and securely share HELO location data with 911 call centers. "This advancement from Apple and RapidSOS will be transformative for emergency response in the United States". However, in iOS 12 this will be built right into the operating system itself.

Emergency responders are sometimes dispatched a mile or more away from a caller's location. It will also be utilizing RapidSOS's "Internet Protocol-based data pipeline" to share users' HELO data with 911 operators.

RapidSOS is free for emergency response centers, but is now used by less than half nationwide.

Tom Wheeler, a former chairman for the Federal Communications Commission, believes Apple's new approach for locating 911 calls will set a new industry standard. The plaintiffs said Apple has monopolized the sale of apps like messaging programs and games, leading to inflated prices compared to if apps were available from other sources.

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