Here's Why Cops Are Asking Android Users To Disable Emergency SOS
google made it mandatory for all Android phones to have an Emergency SOS-like functionality with the release of Android 12 in 2021. This feature can be easily triggered by quickly pressing the power button five times on any Android phone. With this feature, you can get help from emergency services in a life-threatening situation. However, it has now become a source of headaches for first responders, as the feature is causing accidental calls to 911.
The Ontario Provincial Police, in a tweet, reveals a spike in accidental emergency calls to their communication centers. Ontario police believe the accidental 911 calls trigger has to do with Google making Emergency SOS mandatory with Android 12. It is possible because many Android manufacturers ship their devices with the feature enabled by default. This issue is seriously concerning as it could make a delay in response for someone who actually needs help.
OPP Comm Centres have seen a significant increase in 911 hang-ups. This may be linked to an Android update which turned on Emergency SOS. You could easily dial 911 without knowing. Please, check your phone. Ensure 911 lines are available for life threatening emergencies. pic.twitter.com/HpUy2htcd6
— Ontario Provincial Police (@OPP_News) April 14, 2023
This isn't the first time we are heading about such an incident. In September 2022, something similar happened when the iPhone 14 started triggering the Crash Detection feature on rollercoasters and caused a lot of accidental calls to 911. While apple optimized this feature through an iOS update, many users are still accidentally triggering emergency calls while skiing.
Now, the same issue is happening with Android devices. Ontario police suggest disabling the feature. While it's not recommended, you can disable it from your device's security setting to avoid any accidental calls to the emergency services. In settings, search for Emergency and navigate to the Emergency SOS feature and turn it off.
Apart from calling 911, the feature can share your location and send a text to pre-specified emergency contacts that you selected while setting it up. You can find these options in the Safety and emergency menu in your phone's Settings.
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