Apple to relay location data for 911 calls

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Apple plans to release an update later this year allowing all iPhone users who dial 911 to automatically share their location data with first responders, the company announced June 18.

Here are three things to know:

1. In 2015, Apple launched Hybridized Emergency Location, or HELO, which estimates 911 callers' locations using cell towers and on-device data sources like GPS and Wi-Fi. The initiative was part of the company's vision to help first responders identify mobile callers' locations, since approximately 80 percent of 911 calls come from cellphones, according to Apple.

2. In addition to HELO, Apple said June 19 it will partner with emergency technology company RapidSOS and use the company's Internet Protocol-based data pipeline to securely share HELO data with 911 call centers by integrating that data with many 911 call centers' existing software infrastructure.

"Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. "When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance."

3. Apple noted iPhone users' data will not be used for nonemergency purposes, and only the 911 call center will have access the user's location during an emergency call.

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