Google, T-Mobile team up to help 911 operators

Google, T-Mobile team up to help 911 operators

Google, T-Mobile team up to help 911 operators

Google worked with RapidSOS, T-Mobile, and West in the deliver the service. "It's now available in 14 countries and provides the location to emergency centers for more than 140,000 calls per day", Google outlined.

Google is partnering with T-Mobile and emergency service tech provider RapidSOS to deliver ELS in the US.

Google said Wednesday it's partnered with T-Mobile and emergency technology providers RapidSOS and West to send emergency call centers information from its Emergency Location Service (ELS), an enhanced location service that runs on 99 percent of active Android devices. What makes it all the more tragically ironic is that the very devices most often used to call 911 - smartphones - contain exceedingly accurate location data.

Google first introduced ELS in 2016 but it was initially only available in the United Kingdom and Estonia because the firm must collaborate with local mobile network operators and emergency services for it to work. You also do not need to update your OS or upgrade an app.

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Google says it will expand ELS to more countries and, within the US, to more carriers quickly. If you are indoors, for example, your Global Positioning System connection could be spotty, and sometimes the information sent to the emergency service provider is so vague that it's pretty much useless in tracking you down in a short amount of time.

The search giant isn't the only one offering mobile device location data to 911 responders.

Google's partnership with T-Mobile works similarly; when customers make a call, their Android phone can send their location to the emergency center. They didn't know where they were on the highway so they couldn't verbally give a location, but ELS gave the emergency crews a very accurate origination location of the call. "ELS provides a faster, more accurate location to emergency communications centers when an Android user places an emergency call, helping save lives by shortening emergency response times". This enabled fire crews to quickly report to the scene and take care of the fire - something that would have been exceptionally hard before ELS.

As for the privacy, Google stated that the generated locations of ELS are transmitted to emergency providers.

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