Android Emergency Location Service Launches in Canada

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Google has announced the activation of its Android Emergency Location Service (ELS) for all Android users in Canada, improving the efficiency and accuracy of responses during emergencies. The ELS feature is designed to securely and privately send a caller’s precise location to emergency services when calling 9-1-1.

CRTC data reveals over 80% of emergency calls are made from cellphones, but pinpointing an accurate location has been a big challenge, especially indoors or in areas where traditional location technologies are less effective.

To combat this, ELS utilizes a combination of Wi-Fi, GPS, and cellular tower data to give a more reliable location.

This plan, supported by the CRTC Emergency Services Working Group, along with partners such as Bell and Telus, ensures that the feature is now accessible on over 99.9% of Android devices (version 5 or newer) across Canada, says Google.

ELS activates when a call to 9-1-1 is placed, requiring no additional hardware or applications for the user or emergency responders. It is integrated directly into the existing 9-1-1 infrastructure, making it readily available across all provinces and territories where 9-1-1 services are available.

In regions like Newfoundland and Labrador and the Northwest Territories, where direct sharing of call location information by telecommunication companies is not standard, Google has collaborated with RapidSOS to give this location data to emergency service providers.

“Our commitment has always been to build products and services that are helpful for Canadians. If you’re an Android user in Canada, we’re grateful that we can now help emergency services find you when you need them most,” said Google in an issued statement on Monday.

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