European emergency agency requests Apple enable AML location tracking in iPhone for first responders

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The European Emergency Number Association is asking that Apple go beyond it's Apple Watch emergency location sending feature, and requests that Advanced Mobile Location be integrated into iOS and the iPhone to assist in locating people in an emergency.

The organization made the call for Apple to implement Advanced Mobile Location (AML) technology on Thursday. The group claims that it has tried to directly contact Apple regarding the matter, and has had no success.

The group does note that the Apple Watch can tell a phone to send the wearer's location to a specified contact. However, the group wants the functionality extended to the iPhone itself, and the data send to emergency services and rescuers.

"Recent news about the 'panic command' on iPhones, including a location function, is also a step in the right direction," said EENA in a statement. "But it is not sufficient: accurate location information should be sent during all emergency calls."

AML is open source, and any smartphone manufacturer or operating system provide can integrate it. Google has done so with Android, starting with Gingerbread — and calls it Emergency Location Service.

Not all Android phones are compatible with the technology, however. Samsung, for instance, doesn't support the feature across its entire line of smartphones, but does in its flagship Galaxy S8.

When an emergency call is made with a smartphone where AML is enabled, the phone establishes its position and sends this information via a text message to the 112 and 999 service in the UK. Accuracy is within a radius of 50 meters or less for most calls.

The UK, Belgium, Estonia, Lithuania, New Zealand, Sweden, and the state of Lower Austria have already implemented the service, with 10 other countries looking to deploy it before the end of 2017.