Tom 2016-04-26 10:42 pm
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iPhone Panic Button? India Introduces Protective Laws

Women’s rights, sexual assault and rape are some of the most discussed topics of our current times and there is certainly some overlap with what technology can do for us in, at least partially, remedying these issues. India seeks to make it mandatory for smartphone producers to include some sort of panic button, so that women and children have a quick and easy means of calling for help should they be assaulted or threatened. Potential victims might find this a subtle and fast method to call for help that doesn’t alert the attacker by making a call and won’t involve having to wait in a telephone queue. Apple is interested in acquiring more market share in the developing world and India is part of the plan, thus Cupertino will have to comply with the newly planned law.

India wants a “panic button” for the iPhone

How Apple will choose to comply with the law has not been decided yet. The problem might be solved by involving the Home Button of the iPhone to serve as an additional panic button. If it is pressed repeatedly, the user can signal that he or she is in a dangerous situation and in need of help. Once the panic button is invoked, emergency services are to be supplied with the GPS location of the potential victim and thus also with the perpetrator’s last seen location. According to reports by India Express, the country is also working on improving the infrastructure to allow for faster processing of such calls for help with a low turnaround time, so that help is sent as quickly as possible.

“The phones will have a panic button which will be GPS-connected.“ – Maneka Ghandi, Women and Child Development Minister

Phones that lack the technical possibility of including a virtual panic button or emulating it via other hardware buttons will be required to use the digit “5” on the number pad for this purpose. Pressing “5” repeatedly should send the panic signal. Overall, the idea is definitely something Apple should look into for this market, as many regions in India are known have severe problems with maintaining the safety of women and children.