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Apple Reportedly Uncooperative in Implementation of Lifesaving iPhone Feature

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Emergency services organizations around the world are requesting Apple’s cooperation in implementing a location feature which they say could save thousands of lives.

Advanced Mobile Location (AML) detects when your smartphone sends out an emergency call and activates the GPS and/or Wi-Fi (if not already activated), reads a new report from The Next Web. It then sends an automatic SMS message to emergency services with your location, then turns GPS off again, presumably to save battery life.

The European Emergency Number Association (EENA) reports that it has been trying to establish contact with Apple to work on a solution that automatically provides accurate location derived from iPhones to emergency services and rescuers. Unfortunately, Apple has reportedly been uncooperative.

“As AML is being deployed in more and more countries, iPhone users are put at a disadvantage compared to Android users in the scenario that matters most: An emergency,” says the organization. “EENA calls on Apple to integrate Advanced Mobile Location in their smartphones for the safety of their customers.”

When AML is activated in a device, it provides extremely accurate location data to first responders in a seamless fashion, as the process happens automatically. Operating systems that run AML detect when emergency calls are being made, and automatically turn on global satellite navigation and Wi-Fi. The device then sends an SMS to emergency services with the location data, allowing for results that are 4,000 times more accurate than current tracking systems.

“EENA calls on Apple to integrate Advanced Mobile Location in their smartphones for the safety of their customers,” the organization said. “It is important to highlight once again that AML is an open-source protocol … and any smartphone manufacturer or operating system provider can integrate it in their products.”

Google, on the other hand, has already implemented AML technology in all Android smartphones as of June 2016. According to the EENA’s data, that additional functionality is already saving lives across Europe and the world. As opposed to Apple, the organization praised Google’s “quick response” and implementation of the AML technology.

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  • Chrome262

    Is there anyway for people to chose to opt out of this?

  • Guy

    Just curious, why wouldn’t you want 911 to know your exact location if you were calling them?

  • Bill___A

    What is the reasoning behind not cooperating? They need to implement these standards. Perhaps governments should step in and require it…

  • raslucas

    I’d speculate that either Apple has already implemented it in iOS 11, so didn’t respond because there was nothing left to say… or the spec of AML is obtrusive and far-reaching and Apple hasn’t figured out a way to preserve the privacy of users when they have not made an emergency call.

  • mcfilmmakers

    No. Governments need to understand the reasoning and find a compromise.

  • I agree. Apple isn’t one to jump on things as soon as they get a bit of pressure, which I applaud them for. I’m assuming that either it will be done soon, or there’s a flaw that is a security risk and Apple is trying to do it correctly.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    Sometimes Apple is wrong. Have you seen their iPhone battery case?

  • Chrome262

    its not 911 i am worried about, its the actually access to my location, any added software that gives 3rd party my location, is a potential avenue for unwanted access. especially a government service, who usually do a piss poor job with understanding tech.

  • Chrome262

    forcing the issue will not resolve, it. Apple would be well with in their rights to bring it to court and then its our money being wasted on litigation. I bet Raslucas is right and the AML could present problems for Apple. You forget those agreements you sign with Apple every time, go both ways, there are commitments they have made to your security, this might violate those.

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