Emergency control room can now track caller's location through smartphone

Emergency call center (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Alfredo Molina)Emergency call center (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Alfredo Molina)

From this month, the emergency control room will be able to track the location of Android phones that call emergency number 112. According to the police, "fast, accurate and reliable location determination is of great importance to help people in need faster and more efficiently and to better facilitate the emergency services", AD reprts. 

This is a feature Google integrated in Android in 2016. Providers can enable it from this month. Smartphones with Android 4.0 or later versions automatically send location data when they call the emergency number. 

The function works on the basis of advanced mobile location, which automatically switches on the location facilities of a smartphone when an emergency number is called. The device sends an SMS to the control room with the coordinates of the smartphone, how accurate the data is, the telephone number, and the IMII number. Users can not easily disable the function.

The function can obviously not distinguish between whether a caller is calling for themselves or another person. For that reason the control room operator will still ask the caller to verify their location.

As soon as the caller hangs up, the function switches itself and the phone's location facilities off again. It is not clear how long the police will store the data.

This function for Apple devices is still under development. Currently the location calls for Apple is based on the location of the transmission tower, which means that the data is not very accurate.


Related stories