Android to Send Location Data to First Responders

...

Android phones will soon be able to send your location to emergency services when you call 911, Google announced this week.

In fact, more than 99 percent of Android handsets—any device running Android 2.3 or later—already support this capability, using Wi-Fi and cellular tower triangulation to capture its precise location. Google is working with mobile network operators and emergency dispatch centers to add support on the receiving end.

The UK and Estonia are the first two countries to get the emergency location notifications, with the feature going live there yesterday on some networks, including Vodafone and O2. Google has also partnered with the European Emergency Number Association, which coordinates emergency services across the continent.

In a blog post, Google said it "looks forward" to making Android's Emergency Location Service available internationally, though the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on when or if it plans to roll out the feature in the US.

As for privacy concerns, "the feature is solely for the use of emergency service providers, and location is never seen or handled by Google," according to the company. "It is sent from your handset to emergency services only when you explicitly place an emergency call, either directly or through your mobile network."

Enabling Android to send location information with a 911 call could dramatically improve emergency response times, since more than 70 percent of emergency calls in the US come from mobile phones, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

An FCC rule called E911, implemented in 2005, requires wireless service providers to provide more precise location information to emergency service providers, including the latitude and longitude of the caller, which must be accurate to within 300 meters.

But mobile carriers often do not meet those requirements. A 2014 study found that nine out of 10 wireless 911 calls made in D.C. did not include accurate location data, and a series of outages in August 2014 prevented T-Mobile customers from making any 911 calls.

Last year, the FCC adopted rules to help emergency responders better locate wireless callers to 911.

Categories
APPLICATIONS
0 Comment

Leave a Reply

Captcha image


RELATED BY

  • 5300c769af79e

    T-Mobile Announces Magenta Friday, Includes Free Galaxy S7 With Trade-In of Galaxy S6 or Note 5

    In a very Uncarrier move, T-Mobile introduces Magenta Friday, its own take on America’s Black Friday shopping holiday.Taking place over the course of this weekend and next weekend, Magenta Friday can land T-Mobile customers quite a few deals, which we shall detail below.
  • 5300c769af79e

    Report: $35 DirecTV Now Arrives Next Month

    AT&T's streaming video service DirecTV Now will reportedly launch in late November with a $35-per-month price tag.That fee "includes your mobile streaming cost," CEO Randall Stephenson said during Tuesday's WSJDLive Conference, TechCrunch reports.
  • 5300c769af79e

    Salesforce's MetaMind Buy Fuels CRM's AI Arms Race

    The acquisition will see MetaMind, whose backers included Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, embed deep learning within the Salesforce platform.On a sufficiently large data set, MetaMind's platform will tune the user's classifier for very high accuracy, Socher added.
  • 5300c769af79e

    Gone Phishing: 2015 Global Malware Round Up Report

    Download Last year, the information security community witnessed some of the world's most devastating data breaches resulting from deadly malware strains and carefully executed phishing attacks.PhishMe's research team spent the last 12 months compiling the latest phishing intelligence and malware trends into an executive white paper - Gone Phishing: 2015 Global Malware Round Up Report.