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Apple will automatically share your location when you call 911

18 June 2018

With RapidSOS support, Apple is apparently getting out ahead of a 2021 USA mandate in which the FCC will require carriers to locate callers to within 50 meters at least 80 percent of the time. iOS 12 will be able to exceed that level in the US, as iOS 11.3 does with AML.

We expect iOS 12 to launch in the fall, and with it all iPhones from the iPhone 5s through to the iPhone X will use the RapidSOS system during emergency calls.

Apple has today announced that it will be adding a new feature to iOS 12 which has the potential to save lives thanks to its ability to give 911 dispatchers accurate location data when a 911 call is made.

'When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance'.

The firm offers an iPhone app called RapidSOS Haven today that iPhone users can install to use to share precise location data with emergency services, and iOS 12 will automatically include its benefits for free for users in the United States - without installing an additional app.

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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.

"911 telecommunicators do extraordinary work managing millions of emergencies with little more than a voice connection", said RapidSOS CEO, Michael Martin. Global Positioning System location data will also be used.

The Federal Communications Commission requires carriers to locate callers to within 164 feet at least 80 percent of the time by 2021.

In typical Apple fashion, the company stressed the new feature's data privacy.

Only the 911 calling centers will be able to see the data during the call, and none of it can be used for non-emergency purposes, according to Apple. Typically, the new version of Apple's mobile operating system is release to the public during September, and that should hold true for iOS 12 as well.

Apple will automatically share your location when you call 911