There have always been concerns over what data Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is taking from its users, whether it’s Siri commands, music preferences or even sharing a user’s location. In this case, Apple is making sure to let users know, yes, it is tracking their locations, but for their own good with its new 911 first responder service.
Currently, Apple is rolling out a new feature in its next iOS update to send emergency responders instant, precise location information in the United States. Specifically, the update coming in iOS 12 later this year will be able to calculate a caller’s location from data collected from Wi-Fi access points, nearby cellular towers and GPS.
According to the National Emergency Number Association (NEMA), out of the 240 million calls made to 911 each year, more than 80% are from mobile devices.
In some of these cases, not all callers in an emergency know where they are, and some cannot verbally communicate their location. As such, a service like this could prove to be the difference between life and death.
Google also has its own version of the technology, called Android Emergency Location Services (ELS), available on the most recent Android phones. It works in 14 countries, but not in the United States yet. The company says it is working toward launching a similar service in the United States.
Shares of Apple closed Friday at $188.84, with a consensus analyst price target of $198.48 and a 52-week trading range of $142.28 to $194.20.