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Apple Refuses To Enable iPhone Emergency Settings that Could Save Countless Lives (thenextweb.com) 279

An anonymous reader shares a report: Despite being relatively easy, Apple keeps ignoring requests to enable a feature called Advanced Mobile Location (AML) in iOS. Enabling AML would give emergency services extremely accurate locations of emergency calls made from iPhones, dramatically decreasing response time. As we have covered before, Google's successful implementation of AML for Android is already saving lives. But where Android users have become safer, iPhone owners have been left behind. The European Emergency Number Association (EENA), the organization behind implementing AML for emergency services, released a statement today that pleads Apple to consider the safety of its customers and participate in the program: "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. EENA calls on Apple to integrate Advanced Mobile Location in their smartphones for the safety of their customers." Why is AML so important? Majority of emergency calls today are made from cellphones, which has made location pinging increasingly more important for emergency services. There are many emergency apps and features in development, but AML's strength is that it doesn't require anything from the user -- no downloads and no forethought: The process is completely automated. With AML, smartphones running supporting operating systems will recognize when emergency calls are being made and turn on GNSS (global navigation satellite system) and Wi-Fi. The phone then automatically sends an SMS to emergency services, detailing the location of the caller. AML is up to 4,000 times more accurate than the current systems -- pinpointing phones down from an entire city to a room in an apartment. "In the past months, EENA has been travelling around Europe to raise awareness of AML in as many countries as possible. All these meetings brought up a recurring question that EENA had to reply to: 'So, what about Apple?'" reads EENA's statement.

Apple Refuses To Enable iPhone Emergency Settings that Could Save Countless Lives

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  • by irving47 ( 73147 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @01:24PM (#54984247) Homepage

    They are joining you in showing "courage" in braving the wilderness or emergency situation on your own.

    • I think Apple just assumes every customer turns on GPS because all Apple customers think alike.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 10, 2017 @01:26PM (#54984257)

    As usual, these CONservatives hate us and want to spy on us.

    • It's an EU thing, which means, politically, it's either left or far-left.

      It's certainly not US conservatives who are pushing for it.

      • Apple wouldn't hesitate to accommodate the same request from the Chinese. Apple has already agreed to every request the Chinese government has demanded just to ensure Apple's access to the Chinese market. At least China is upfront about their efforts to keep a tight reign on their citizens and make no excuses for their actions. On the other hand Apple is just another conglomeration of dishonest liars who judge the truth by the amount of market share they hold. Apple's "privacy" stance takes a distant secon

      • It's an EU thing, which means, politically, it's either left or far-left.

        Left: We need to track you because "safety".
        Right: We need to track you because "terrorists".

        Since this is about "safety", it is no surprise that leftists are pushing for it.

    • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @02:14PM (#54984639) Homepage Journal

      It's not so much about who, but if the feature is enabled to get accurate detection, someone will seek to use it, whether it's law enforcement, political regimes or other.

      And quite frankly, it's not like emergency services are going to wait for SMS with location details - that would slow down dispatch for everyone, and cost more lives than it saves.

  • one side only (Score:5, Insightful)

    by zugmeister ( 1050414 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @01:28PM (#54984275)
    When you read an article that describes this incredible thing and all the advantages it brings, and how easy / painless it would be to implement, I kinda start to feel like a car salesman is telling me how cheap some car is. I suspect there's more to the story, and quite possibly a good reason Apple's not enabling this service.

    Anyone out there have the other half of the story? I'm gonna go get some caffeine.
    • Re:one side only (Score:5, Insightful)

      by simplypeachy ( 706253 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @01:33PM (#54984311)
      I'm sure if there was a good reason Apple refuses to enable it, they'd reply. To someone. To anyone.
      • Well let's start with the actual problem: Apple hasn't implemented it yet. "Enabled" would imply that there's a setting that Apple just doesn't turn on. AML is an open source protocol. It has to be implemented by Apple which Google has done.
    • Re:one side only (Score:5, Informative)

      by Baron_Yam ( 643147 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @01:35PM (#54984345)

      So far as I know, in Canada and the USA there's already e911, which is a system whereby the cell phone's GPS is turned on, regardless of the user's set preferences, and a GPS fix is sent to the 911 call center by the mobile service provider.

      At least in Canada, this was mandated by law for all new phones (because the USA was doing it anyway, and we're effectively a sub-market of the USA so we were getting it anyway). It's also mandated in Canada that the phone companies pass along the e911 data, and that 911 call centers be set up to accept it... though I believe there are/were plenty of delays by both in implementing.

      I'm somewhat confused as to whether AML is a different name for e911, or if it's an additional system that uses WiFi maps to enhance location services. I suspect the latter is the case, and Apple already has e911 which is, as far as I know, required by law, and they simply don't want to have to worry about paying Google for a good map of known WAPs. (Because you know Google would be the one that knows every WAP by SID and lat/long)

      • It's probably the "0118 999 881 999 119 7253 Emergency Number" for the EU. Reading on both e911 and AML, AML sounds far more robust and accurate. SMS often still works when voice and internet service fails due to SMS originally being a "tower control protocol". All the EU needs to do is make it a legal requirement for all cell phones sold in their territory and set a deadline a few years down the road. Apple will comply in the next gen of their phones.
        • You mean like the requirement that all phones use a standard charger interface (micro-USB)? Not on any iPhone I've seen.

          • You mean like the requirement that all phones use a standard charger interface (micro-USB)? Not on any iPhone I've seen.

            Didn't they get a special dispensation or something of that order? Something like, we're complying because micro-USB to Lightning converter cables exist.

            • by j-beda ( 85386 )

              You mean like the requirement that all phones use a standard charger interface (micro-USB)? Not on any iPhone I've seen.

              Didn't they get a special dispensation or something of that order? Something like, we're complying because micro-USB to Lightning converter cables exist.

              I think they just include a micro-USB to Lighting converter cable in the sales package and they are in compliance. Possibly the Lighting to USB-A cable is sufficient.

          • In Asian markets (i.e. China) they have to provide the Micro-USB adapter plug gratis in order to sell the phones. In the glorious free-market USA, Apple gets to screw you over for an extra $xx for it and/or charge you extra for Lightning cables instead of the USB cables the other 90% of the market uses.
            • Yep, and I'm OK with this. If people don't like it, they shouldn't buy an iPhone; there's tons of alternatives available. If they insist on an iPhone, they should be willing to pony up $$$ for overpriced accessories for it. Think of it as a "stupidity tax".

        • by halivar ( 535827 )

          I got the joke, even if no one else did. Also, that damn jingle is in my head, now; thanks.

      • So far as I know, in Canada and the USA there's already e911, which is a system whereby the cell phone's GPS is turned on, regardless of the user's set preferences, and a GPS fix is sent to the 911 call center by the mobile service provider..

        That's not what enhanced 911 does [wikipedia.org].

        Landline phones have a physical address associated with them. Cellphone numbers can have a "master address" linked to them as part of a specific record maintained by each carrier. All enhanced 911 does is provide the originating phone number's associated address (assuming it exists) automatically to the dispatcher. With cell phones, that may not be where the caller is currently located.

      • Re:one side only (Score:4, Interesting)

        by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot.worf@net> on Thursday August 10, 2017 @02:07PM (#54984581)

        E911 and AML are different.

        Basically, what happens is E911 embeds the location information in the control plane when you make a call, so it's the responsibility of the carriers and everyone to forward the data onwards to the emergency center.

        AML is completely data and user plane. Basically, if you make an emergency call, your phone turns on GPS and location services (WiFi or other high-precision source). It also turns on data services (even if you have data roaming OFF, or do not have a data plan), and performs an NTP request to get the current date and time. It then takes that information and sends an SMS to emergency services.

        E911 requires whole stack integration - mostly to get GPS data to the cellular modem so it can forward it on transparently to the user. AML is completely high level OS based - if you make an emergency call, the OS turns on cellular data and wifi, makes contact with NTP servers to set the local clock, then sends off an SMS.

        Basically it's done because in Europe, E911 would be hard to implement because it requires upgrading the entire infrastructure to support it, while AML requires no upgrades since it uses existing infrastructure.

        This is probably the reason why Europe has moved towards making roaming basically obsolete - because AML has the possibility for incurring charges on your bill which you cannot control. I mean, it would suck if you got into an emergency and then got hit with extra charges for the data use and the SMS. Especially if you do not have a data or texting plan where the per-use charges can be exorbitant. If you're a tourist, even more so - you witness something, call emergency services and now your phone bill is jacked up without you knowing. At $1/kb or more for per-use data, I'm sure people would be furious about it knowing they did NOT use any data at all except on WiFi. And likely same for SMS as well - foreign texting is expensive, and even more so when it's roaming.

        So in the EU, because roaming is basically eliminated, it would get rid of the excess roaming charges from such data use and SMS use - you'd pay your normal rates regardless of where you are. (Of course, it's having issues because people would want to buy plans from cheaper countries since you can use it anywhere).

        I would guess that they'd also waive the data charges too during an emergency call, but I won't know. I would also guess it could be subject to hijacking since it's just a normal SMS that is sent and we know of the SMS hijacks available with SS7. So it's possible for a bad actor to trigger the AML code in the OS and then trap the SMS that is sent to get a user's exact location.

    • Re:one side only (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @01:58PM (#54984507)

      Exactly.
      Usually one sided arguments at least try to state reason why the opposing side has its ways (often rather lame, or goes into conspiracy theory), but that is better then just nothing.

      Does this open up security concerns? Is this AML a new thing that will probably be put into the next version iPhone 7s and 8? Did Apple ever get the Specs for this? Could this conflict with something else...

      Apple tends to have a slower development schedule then Android, and Apple is less likely to release partial implementations.
      But stating it is easy, without actually knowing all the details, is rather stupid.

  • by CanHasDIY ( 1672858 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @01:29PM (#54984283) Homepage Journal

    Is it just me, or does this summary seem very one-sided and accusatory?

    I'd like to hear Apple's rationale - too often, security is sacrificed in the name of "safety"

    • I'd like to hear Apple's rationale - too often, security is sacrificed in the name of "safety"

      As an Apple customer, so would I.

      Sadly, Apple has not commented on it.

      If they have good reasons for not doing it, fine. Tell us about it, then.

  • No thanks for me. But I'm not adverse to Apple making it a user-configurable feature, provided the default is off.
    • Save lives, kill privacy

      Exactly. Apple is consistent in preferring privacy — to a fault, such as when it chose the privacy of a dead terrorist [theguardian.com] over the potential for saving lives.

      But the masses' reaction to that depends on the spin, and it is amusing to watch the crowd — even the /. crowd — flip-flop at the hands of the opinion-manipulators...

      If only Apple were as heroic in other countries [zdnet.com]...

  • Countless (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @01:32PM (#54984307)

    When someone tells you something is "countless", it usually means they want you to believe it's sufficiently many to accept their argument, but have no evidence to back that up.

    How many people would this actually save?
    What is the potential for abuse?

    • Re:Countless (Score:4, Informative)

      by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @01:49PM (#54984455)

      The article listed exactly one life purportedly saved by this tech when a Lithuanian boy called the local equivalent of 911.

      But one life obviously scales up to "countless".

      However this service is actually only available in "UK, Estonia, Lithuania and parts of Austria" - not the EU as a whole, which seems to be implied by the submission. And, since the tech is owned by Google, we don't know what other requirements may be involved... as I recall, when they were still the official map provider for iOS, they kept lobbying for more access to iPhone owners' location data.

      • I think it says "could save countless lives". That's a speculative statement and as such, is obviously true. It could. Doesn't mean it has.

  • It's called re-gu-la-ti-on...

    Specifically, European regulation. Any smartphone sold in Europe should integrate AML, or be banned outright. Period. No exceptions. You have 6 months to comply and communicate with the European regulators a detailed timetable for your compliance.

    72 hours after that regulation is passed by the European Parliament, I bet you Apple will come out with an announcement supporting AML and a couple of months later, with the latest iOS updates, all iPhones would be AML-Compliant.

    Sure, a

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by spire3661 ( 1038968 )
      ITs called 'Lib-er-ty' Specifically i should have the option of NOT providing my location constantly. Any smartphone that doesnt offer root by default should be banned outright, no exceptions. See i can spout unrealistic absolutes too.
      • by Carewolf ( 581105 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @02:29PM (#54984755) Homepage

        ITs called 'Lib-er-ty'

        Specifically i should have the option of NOT providing my location constantly. Any smartphone that doesnt offer root by default should be banned outright, no exceptions. See i can spout unrealistic absolutes too.

        Well, good because that is exactly what AML is NOT doing.... Fantastic, you can have everything you want and still be saved from a heart attack.

      • by Noryungi ( 70322 )

        Have you even read the article?

        It specifically states that AML only turns on location (automatically) WHEN you dial 9-1-1.

        Oh, wait, this is Slashdot, so your libetarian little ego could not stand the magic word at the top of my rant, right?

        Sorry about that, my bad.

    • While you may be correct, your approach to convincing others is far too aggressive and makes it sound like your trying to shove your religion down my throat.
      Give us the facts, don't get angry, and let others form their own opinions.

    • I seem to recall the EU mandated that all phones had to use microUSB for their charging ports. Last I checked, iPhones still do not. That regulation seems to have worked really well. (Don't get me wrong - I like that the regulation unified charging ports on Android. I just don't see regulation as being the panacea you think it is.)
      • by Noryungi ( 70322 )

        I seem to recall the EU mandated that all phones had to use microUSB for their charging ports. Last I checked, iPhones still do not.

        Agreed, but there is a difference between a charging port and saving lives.

        In that respect, (safety) regulation probably is more important than regulation.

      • They can (and maybe do) just include a microUSB adapter. I'm not entirely clear if the directive (not law) is even about connectors, but rather just about charging specifications.

      • Apple got around it by having to provide a free dongle with every iPhone that converts microUSB to Lightning.

        Presumably, Android phones could do the exact same thing. They just don't bother, because it's cheaper and easier to just build microUSB into the phone directly. Only Apple insists on having its own stupid port, as their legions of kool-aid drinking customers are happy to pay them $$$ for overpriced cables; this just doesn't work with the Android sellers.

  • Hippocrites (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jediborg ( 4808835 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @01:35PM (#54984337)
    Yeah cause we can trust that this advanced location tracking feature won't be abused by governments to spy on its citizens. Its not like apple had to stand up against the intelligence industrial complex of multiple nations and tell them that encryption is part of the right of free speech and they won't submit to weakened encryption, or assist governments in decrypting phones outside of due process and in violations of ones 4th amendment rights.

    For non-americans out there: 4th amendment right is your right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Its a right that pre-dates and existed before the United States, is an unalienable right of all humans not just Americans, and if your government doesn't already promise/guarantee such a right in a written and binding document similar to the U.S constitution, you should demand one from your government!
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Bozzio ( 183974 )

      > is an unalienable right of all humans not just Americans

      As granted by whom? I'm seriously you asking this question. I often hear people go on about human rights, but nobody seems to know who or what has granted them. I, personally, have no clue.

      The idea of absolute and universal rights seems too good to be true. I suspect people who make reference to them are either mistaken or are mentioning them rhetorically.

      Can you elucidate?

      • As granted by whom? I'm seriously you asking this question. I often hear people go on about human rights, but nobody seems to know who or what has granted them. I, personally, have no clue.

        In the US construct of "rights", they are not granted. They inherently exist in all people. (please ignore the times we didn't live up to that. k thx.)

        Whether or not a government acknowledges those rights has no bearing on whether or not they exist. As a result, rights can't be granted, they can be acknowledged or not.

        • by Bozzio ( 183974 )

          Thank you for the response. That covers human rights with regards to the the US.

          I'm hoping the OP or someone else can clarify the bit about the "unalienable right of all humans not just Americans."

      • As granted by whom? I'm seriously you asking this question. I often hear people go on about human rights, but nobody seems to know who or what has granted them. I, personally, have no clue.

        Basically the thought is, you are BORN with them, the rights are inherit to being a human being, and you have them the day you hit the atmosphere and start processing oxygen.

      • is an unalienable right of all humans not just Americans

        As granted by whom? I'm seriously you asking this question.

        Here's the serious answer: "inalienable rights" means rights you have by merely existing. They are not "granted" by anybody.

        Rights that are "granted" aren't rights at all. They are privileges.

      • Oh man, there is a huge body of philosophical, moral, religious, and political writings about natural rights, their origin and application. Unfortunately its not part of any official school curriculum so when you come across someone well-versed in the subject talking about it... well its like trying to understand concepts of multiplication without understanding addition. Tom Woods recently did an excellent speech introducing the origins of it: http://tomwoods.com/ep-969-whe... [tomwoods.com] unfortunately he doesn't have
    • by Noryungi ( 70322 )

      Yeah cause we can trust that this advanced location tracking feature won't be abused by governments to spy on its citizens. Its not like apple had to stand up against the intelligence industrial complex of multiple nations... yadda yadda yadda...

      Yeah, and if you are in China how is that "standing up to Governments and protecting free speech" thing working out for you? Hmmm?

      And, again, you have not read a single line of the article: AML mandates activating GPS and wifi when, and ONLY when, you call the equivalent of 9-1-1.

      Implementing AML in a safe and privacy-protecting way is, as far as I am concerned, a trivial exercice for Apple engineers.

      Come on, I am all for protecting free speech and privacy, but Apple not adopting AML is simply ridiculous.

      • Implementing AML in a safe and privacy-protecting way is, as far as I am concerned, a trivial exercice for Apple engineers.

        You are clearly not a security engineer. Implementing anything that can communicate with others in a safe and privacy-protecting way is the exact opposite of a "trivial exercise".

        It's actually a very, very hard thing to do even for those who are at the top of the field.

  • Unless there is absolutely no way to trigger AML remotely, I'm not sure I'd trust this system either.

    Western countries have done a great job of demonstrating that they can and will violate every possible bit of privacy that they can manage, legality be damned.

    Do we really want the various TLA agencies the ability to track the entire population down to the centimeter level?

    Make sure you're not holding your phone while you're watching dirty videos!

    • Or slightly less dystopian than that, but not by much. Imagine this:

      You get your car insurance bill. The premium went up a sizeable amount for no apparent reason. You call them up and ask why, since you have no tickets or accidents. They tell you "You're at risk for driving under the influence so we had to raise your rates". You ask them, how they came to that conclusion? "We see you go to such-and-such bar two or three times a week." How the hell do you know that? "it's from the GPS data on your smartphone"

    • by Bozzio ( 183974 )

      Well, if you have nothing to hide, then you shouldn't mind, right?

      And, of course, you're a good person who would *never* want to watch dirty videos ;P

      I suspect the author of the article either has an agenda or didn't bother to do any research. Either way, fuck you slashdot for posting this shit.

    • by Noryungi ( 70322 )

      Unless there is absolutely no way to trigger AML remotely, I'm not sure I'd trust this system either.

      I'll grant you that. It could be tricky to put together well.

      On the other hand, if you are that concerned with your privacy, do a Richard Stallman, and refuse to have a cell phone at all: he has said several times he considered them are nothing more than advanced tools for the intelligence community. Plus, of course, closed-source software, etc.

      To be honest, I recently bought a very specific smartphone precisely for that reason: it was one of the rare model that still offered a removable battery, so who am

  • by Nexus7 ( 2919 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @01:43PM (#54984397)

    The other day I go to report a dangerous situation on the road to 911, the call goes through, then I go to turn the speakerphone on, since it is loud on the street, and.. well, I can't, 'cos there's this big bar across all that with a busy indicator, but eventually it gets my location and shows me a picture of where I am. So they crippled the phone app to let me know where I am?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If it's noisy then speakerphone isn't going to help you. You'll still struggle to hear it, and the operator won't be able to hear anything but the street. It's better to be closer to the mic and speaker off speakerphone and cover your other ear.

  • by Maury Markowitz ( 452832 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @01:57PM (#54984503) Homepage

    >Apple Refuses

    So "no comment" now means "you refuse"? I think the civil liberties people would have a problem with that statement.

    >Could Save Countless Lives

    Given that it exists on Android, it seems extremely countable to me.

    Another story with "Apple" in the title for teh clix.

  • The article makes it seems that Apple is "refusing to enable" a feature that their phones already have like it's part of some secret setting where as the statement from EENA says that Apple hasn't implemented the feature yet. From EENA [eena.org] "EENA calls on Apple to integrate Advanced Mobile Location in their smartphones for the safety of their customers."

    There's a huge difference between the two meanings.

  • Costs money to implement. In the past the government has mandated these things,
    so let's just work on getting our legislatures to mandate that AML for emergency services be
    supported on cellular phones to be allowed to connect to the PSTN over the wireless spectrum assigned for cellular phone service.

  • by nehumanuscrede ( 624750 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @02:56PM (#54985033)

    Well, this got me asking myself the question " Just how accurate is wireless GPS data that is fed to the 911 systems ? "

    Well, I can answer that actually since I can watch that data in real time as it traverses the 911 network.

    That said, the GPS appears to report data that is accurate out to six decimal places.
    A random one a few moments ago near the Chicago area came across as: +40.769997 -87.739716

    My understanding is six digits out gives us an accuracy of .1 meter ( or about four inches for us non-metric types ) but this degrades a bit the further away from the equator you go.

    Still, FOUR INCHES ? If you can't find the damn caller within four inches, then you have a much bigger problem. Even with degradation, it should easily be within a couple of meters of the stated location. One of you super math types can probably calculate the deviation if you feel like it.

    I understand the need for emergency services to have accurate information, but damn.

    How much more accurate do you need it to be ?

    • You may be confusing precision (the number of decimal places) with accuracy (how well that number corresponds with reality).

      Those are two different things and a high degree of precision does not imply a high degree of accuracy.

  • by Sqreater ( 895148 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @02:59PM (#54985073)
    Law enforcement and government will find a way to turn it on "for the public good." Sometimes you just have to stubbornly say no in order to protect rights, freedom, and privacy. Rights cost, not just on the battlefields of our nation's wars, but in our daily lives. Sad, but very true.
  • Despite being relatively easy, Apple keeps ignoring requests to enable a feature called Advanced Mobile Location (AML) in iOS.

    That's what the "The Next Web" writer said. Then later in TFA: a quote from the European Emergency Number Association:

    EENA calls on Apple to integrate Advanced Mobile Location in their smartphones for the safety of their customers

    "Enabling" and "integrating" don't mean the same thing, which is why they are two different words. Further down in TFA:

    EENA Executive Director Gary Machado has been involved in the AML project from the beginning. “I don’t want to trivialize the work it requires,” Machado said. “But from a technical point of view, deploying AML is not an overly complicated task for an OS provider.”

    So this writer has gone from "not an overly complicated task for an OS provider." (which is surely an assumption by Machado based on his knowledge that Google and Apple have lots of money) to "relatively easy ... to enable".

    Further, AML sounds like a hack, and it has only

  • I don't like being tracked!
  • Ignoring something is not the same thing as refusing something. TFA makes it clear that the headline is in error.
  • by cant_get_a_good_nick ( 172131 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @03:36PM (#54985463)

    Countless? Really? how hard is it to count the number of people who called Emergency services but later lost their lives because of incomplete location data. Yes, any number more than zero is bad, but don't make Apple out to be Vlad the Impaler or Pol Pot here.

  • How are they ensuring that AML can't be abused by random hackers, corporations, or governments?

  • "AML automatically turns on mobile data on the headset (which may lead to charges to the user), automatically contacts NTP servers and sets date, and sends IMSI/IMEI over unencrypted (but invisible to the user) SMS message."
    -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

    emergency services do *not* need my IMSI / IMEI, they have my phone number (both from the call, as well as the SMS)...
    and that's even without going into the fact that this is sent in an SMS (the user will never know about), so security i

  • by Jason Pollock ( 45537 ) on Thursday August 10, 2017 @09:49PM (#54988119) Homepage

    In the US and Canada, they've required the implementation of mobile E911 phase 2. It requires the location of the device within 300m (max) within 6minutes of the location being asked for.

    This is done both in the network (triangulation/timing) and with the cooperation of the chipset in the device, which already reports the location. AT&T already uses the GPS chips in the device - the phone's chipset grabs the data.

    So, there is no reason to ask for the location from the device manufacturer if the location is already being provided by the network.

    That the EU can't get their rules passed and in force (since 2003) [1] is their own problem. The technology is there, available and has been for over a decade.

    [1] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal... [europa.eu]

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