An Apple repair center in California is behind 20 false 911 calls per day or 1,600 phony emergency calls to 911 since October. Emergency dispatchers believe that the erroneous calls come from the devices that are being repaired at the center.
A dispatcher in Elk Grove noted that the calls are made on the Apple watches and phones that are either being repaired or refurbished at a nearby repair center. The emergency dispatch center was able to pinpoint the origin of the calls via cell tower triangulation or GPS data.
When dispatchers take the calls. they rarely hear a person’s voice, which suggests that the calls are a mistake. Dispatchers explained that the false calls can be a real nuisance when they have a real emergency happening on another line and they have to put those callers on hold to take the phony call.
Apple confirmed that there is a problem and promised to solve the issue.
We’re aware of 911 calls originating from our Elk Grove repair and refurbishment facility,
a spokesman for the company said.
SOS Feature Could be At Fault
He added that the company takes the issue very seriously and that it is collaborating with the police to find the cause and ensure that the calls stop. Apple couldn’t tell why its employees are making those calls, but it suggested that a faulty Emergency SOS feature could be to blame.
Sacramento County Sheriff’s office said that the office had to deal with 47 erroneous 911 calls since early January. Some emergency dispatchers said they sometimes overheard Apple technicians talking about technical issues, the company, or the devices they are trying to repair.
The SOS feature, which is included in both the Apple Watch and iPhone, is designed to enable users to dial 911 in a hurry. The feature is activated by holding both volume buttons and the side button simultaneously or pushing the side button five times very quickly.
Image Source: Wikimedia