Under the new system, iPhones will send their exact location to a RapidSOS dispatcher, which will then forward the coordinates to local emergency response centers.
Of course, there are privacy implications to such a feature.
Apple stressed that the data could only be used for emergency purposes and the 911 center's access to user locations will be restricted to the duration of 911 calls. Since 2015, iPhones have been able to pinpoint their users' locations relatively accurately, using a combination of Global Positioning System and nearby wifi networks, a technology the company calls HELO (Hybridized Emergency Location). When iOS 12 becomes available, Apple will use a technology called RapidSOS to quickly and securely share HELO data with 911 operators.
Apple is beta-testing a new feature called "USB restricted mode" created to improve the security of their devices against all kinds of potential intruders.
"Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal".
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Approximately 80 percent of 911 calls come from cell phones, however, which is why it's critical to fix this system.
"We're thrilled that Apple is giving 911 centers access to device-based location data via a thoroughly-tested, standards-based approach", said Rob McMullen, President of the National Emergency Number Association, the 911 Association.
RapidSOS's technology integrates with existing software installed at many 911 centers, which is how they'll receive the data. "When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance".
In fact, according to the FCC as many as 10,000 lives could be saved each year if the improved system allowed emergency respondors to arrive just one minute quicker.