When calls are made to 911, ideally the caller would be able to provide their location which is of course vital if police, firefighters, or an ambulance has to be sent to the location. However this isn’t always possible and while 911 can get a location, sometimes it might not be precise enough.

However for iOS users, it seems that iOS 12 will add a new feature that will provide first responders with the caller’s location. This is made possible thanks to Apple’s partnership with RapidSOS and their Next Generation 911 technology. According to the company, “RapidSOS works with trusted PSAP and first responder software vendors to deliver precise location and rich data to call-takers, dispatchers and first responders via existing call-taking, dispatch, and mapping software.”

However given how much focus Apple places on privacy, the company reassures that the location data will be accessed securely, and that this location data cannot be accessed for any non-emergency purpose. Apple notes that approximately 80% of emergency calls in the US made made from mobile devices, which could make it harder for first 911 to obtain a location versus fixed lines.

As it stands Apple already deploys the Hybridized Emergency Location (HELO) system but with this upgrade, hopefully it will mean better and more accurate response times.

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