NPR, June 18, 2018
Cameron Jenkins

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With about 80 percent of 911 calls made from mobile devices, it's sometimes difficult for emergency responders to pinpoint the location of those callers.

On Monday, Apple unveiled plans to work with 911 centers to automatically share the exact locations of iPhone users that need to call in an emergency.

Under a collaboration with startup company RapidSOS, Apple's current Hybridized Emergency Location system will integrate with 911 centers' existing software. Apple's system uses technology that estimates a phone's location with data from cell towers, GPS and Wi-Fi access points.

The update is expected to roll out later this year as part of iOS 12, the next version of Apple's mobile operating system. Google is testing a similar system for Android-based phones.

Privacy concerns have been at the center of this sort of location sharing in the past. However, Apple said that with the new feature, "user data cannot be used for any non-emergency purpose and only the responding 911 center will have access to the user's location during an emergency call." [...]

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