Apple trying to drag 911 system into 21st century

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As Apple itself astutely observed, most 911 calls made these days come from mobile devices.

RapidSOS' protocol is already integrated with many United States 911 emergency centers, which makes Apple's new iOS 12 feature production-ready from the minute it's scheduled to launch this fall.

The Justice Department backed Apple's position in the case, which will be heard by the justices later this year. "When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance".

Call centers for several suburban jurisdictions, including Niles, Naperville, DuPage County and Cook County, are also set up to use the feature as soon as Apple launches its forthcoming operating system. Emergency responders are sometimes dispatched a mile or more away from a caller's location. Apple is working to speed things up for the full range of devices supported by iOS 12. iPhones and iPads will now be better than ever at delivering optimal performance while also prolonging battery life. The new feature aims to expedite that process by automatically sharing location data.

The FCC requires carriers to locate callers to within 50 meters at least 80 percent of the time by 2021. iOS location services are capable of exceeding this requirement today, even in challenging, dense, urban environments.

The success of the company Grayshift, which provides intelligence services access to information on seized smartphones, said people familiar with the matter, the forensics.

Apple, along with startup company RapidSOS, will be able to calculate a caller's location based on data collected from Wi-Fi access points, nearby cell towers and Global Positioning System.

But the type of location data that can be sent to 911 operators through the technology developed by Apple and RapidSOS can be much more accurate than the type of location data sent by wireless operators like AT&T and Verizon, per the FCC's E911 guidelines.

"This new functionality is an example of how companies and first responders can use technology to dramatically improve public safety", former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said.

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