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Mobile users: can 911 emergency locate you after you call?

Ars Technica: "Nine years ago Karla Gutierrez lost control of her BMW and it careened into a canal. As the vehicle slipped into the water, Gutierrez called Miami, Florida 911 on her mobile phone.

"My car is sinking!" she cried to the operator.

"Ma'am, I know," the dispatch respondent replied. "You need to calm down, OK? I know you are in the water, and you are sinking, but if I don't know where you are at, we can't help you."

"My car is sinking!" Gutierrez screamed again. "Oh, my God! Oh, my God!" For three minutes, the operator tried to coax her to approximate her location, then the phone went dead. Eventually first responders found her in her car, drowned.

Almost a decade later, the FCC says that up to 40 percent of mobile device emergency calls still don't provide immediate or quick and precise caller location data. "The inaccuracy is not just a few feet, but up to one or two miles—and sometimes no location information at all," noted FCC Chair Julius Genachowski on Thursday."

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arstechnica.com
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