iOS 12 Will Automatically Share Your Location With 911 Responders

Posted on June 18, 2018 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple, Mobile, iOS with 5 Comments

Apple is set to launch the next major version of iOS later this year with new digital health features, ARKit 2, and more. While we have already talked a lot about these new features, iOS 12 will also bring somewhat of an important feature — as long as you are in the United States.

With iOS 12, Apple is advancing its Hybridized Emergency Location (HELO) technology to help reduce emergency response times. In iOS 12, when you make an emergency 911 call, your iPhone will automatically share the location of your device with emergency responders. The feature is built on RapidSOS‘ data pipeline system to instantaneously share location data with 911 centers. It’s not clear exactly how many 911 centers will be able to access your location data, but Apple says the system relies on existing, industry-standard protocols and software, so it should be widely available in the United States.

Apple’s HELO tech doesn’t share your exact location — instead, it estimates your location by using your cell tower’s data, as well as other sources like GPS and WiFi Acess Points which can be used by 911 responders. The new system will certainly come in incredibly handy in emergency situations, and here’s to hoping Apple will eventually be able to bring it to other countries.

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “iOS 12 Will Automatically Share Your Location With 911 Responders”

  1. Thomas Parkison

    As long as the precise location data isn't shared with anyone but the 911 center I'm OK with it. The emergency services need to know where you're at if you have any expectation of getting said emergency help.

    • Brazbit

      In reply to trparky:

      I'm sure a remotely activated tracking system will not be used by anyone else. They will all respect your right to privacy and will never abuse this.

      Not that the information is hard to get when you are walking around with an always connected device with gps and dozens of other sensors that could be used to see, hear and track your every movement and your surroundings. ?

  2. spacein_vader

    We have something like this in Europe already, it's called Advanced Mobile Location (AML) and it combines cell tower triangulation with a phones GPS to give a location accurate to within a few feet to the emergency responder who answers the phone within a couple of seconds of the call being answered. It can make a big difference to our response times.

    Can't see why anyone would object to be honest.

  3. Skolvikings

    This sounds like a no-brainer idea to me. Glad they're adding it.