While location data and tracking may be frowned upon due to their invasion of privacy, it seems that there are more noble uses for it. In recent news there has been a report on the Chilean airplane crash, where the plane attempted two landings but failed and was then blown off course where it crashed.
It certainly is a tragic incident, and due to the belief that the plane may have broken up on impact, searching for potential survivors or their bodies may prove to be a rather difficult task. However, what managed to aid in the search was none other than Apple’s “Find my iPhone” feature which supposedly aided in the search and recovery operation.
For those unfamiliar, Find My iPhone uses GPS tracking to determine where your iPhone is. Users will be able to log into the application on their computers and track their missing iPhone, however its uses have expanded into something perhaps even Apple did not foresee.
The GPS coordinates of the last known whereabouts of the plane were given to the Navy, who then used it to help coordinate rescue efforts to locate the plane and its passengers. It seems that this story was further corroborated in another report, which has been translated thanks to 9to5 Mac:
“Rear Admiral Francisco García-Huidobro explained the founding that
garnered a lot of attention today, and it has to do with an iPhone belonging to
one of the victims of the aerial accident in Juan Fernández, in a beach
in Bahía Carvajal.
The phone signal could be captured thanks to the GPS system, however, water
ended up shutting it down. Nevertheless, García Huidoro explained that they
managed to plot the last position from where the signal was last generated, which
will be made public tomorrow.
Navy Special Forces are expected to go down to the ocean floor and recover the
device on the fifth day of the search. The iPhone is expected to be near the place
where a wheel from the crashed plane was found on Friday.”
Our condolences go out to the families of the victims.