Apple will automatically share the location of 911 callers in iOS 12

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Apple introduced HELO in 2015, which estimates a mobile 911 caller's location using cell towers and data sources like Global Positioning System and WiFi Access Points.

"Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal", Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a press release.

Using an internet protocol-based data pipeline from emergency technology company RapidSOS, iOS 12 will automatically share your location data with 911 centers. Only the responding 911 center will have access to your location during an emergency call, Apple says, and they won't be able to use it for non-emergency purposes.

911 operators now have access to location data shared by mobile phone companies, but it tends not to be very precise.

Apple is trying to solve a problem caused by the technological mismatch between a 50-year-old system built for landlines and today's increasingly sophisticated smartphones. You can create characters that have your own appearance, choose the skin colour, hairstyle, and also use accessories for your Memoji. The service is free for call centers to implement.

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Apple's iOS 11 includes a great SOS feature for when you feel unsafe in an emergency, but you may want to disable the feature on your iPhone or Apple Watch to avoid accidentally calling 911.

AT&T said in a statement Monday, "We are exceeding the FCC's requirements and working as an industry to implement improvements in 911 location accuracy for all our customers". That should make it easier for ambulances and paramedics to reach callers and shave precious minutes off response times, potentially saving 10,000 lives per year, according to federal regulator estimates.

Apple isn't alone: Google is experimenting with similar software.

Two former FCC heads -Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman from 2013 to 2017, and Dennis Patrick, FCC Chairman from 1987 to 1989- have applauded Apple's move.

Apple recently took the wraps off the latest version of its iOS operating system, iOS 12. The high court said it would focus on a narrow slice of the issue - on Apple's claim that app developers are the ones who have standing here to bring an antitrust suit.