Apple's iOS 12 will automatically share location data with 911 responders | Tech News

Apple wants to make emergencies easier to find.


Apple

iPhone users who call 911 will automatically be able to share location data with first responders when iOS 12 is released this fall, Apple said Monday.

The service will allow 911 operators to more easily locate callers in order to dispatch responders more quickly and accurately to emergency situations, the company said in a statement.

Apple first launched a version of this service, called HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location), back in 2015. This uses 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 securely share HELO data with 911 operators.


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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,” Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, said in a statement. “When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance.”

Apple said location data will only be shared in emergency situations.

The next version of the mobile operating system was unveiled at Apple’s WWDC in early June. It will bring a handful of new features and updates to iPhones. Along with new safety features, iOS 12 will bring personalized animojis — called Memojis — and tools to help manage screen time. The software is available in beta now.

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