Apple’s Emergency SOS feature has led to a lot of accidental 911 calls

Apple devices at its Elk Grove refurbishing center have been accidentally calling 911, flooding emergency dispatchers with unsolicited calls. According to CBS Sacramento, dispatchers for the Elk Grove Police have received an average of 20 calls per day and a total of over 1,600 calls since October. Sacramento County Sheriff Department Communication Center says it too has received these calls, claiming 47 of them have come since January 1.

When the calls go through, there is never anyone on the line, according to the dispatchers. It is usually just silence or the muffled sounds of technicians talking about repairs of Apple devices.

Police dispatchers are not happy with the ongoing ordeal, saying the calls take “valuable seconds away from calls that could be real life-and-death emergencies.”

The start date of the 911 calls coincide with Apple’s release of the Emergency SOS feature. With the feature, holding down the power button or pressing it down five times triggers a 911 emergency call. Its original intent is admirable, but accidental calls were bound to happen.

It’s not entirely clear which devices are at fault for the emergency calls. Both the iPhone and Apple Watch feature the Emergency SOS functionality.

“We’re aware of 911 calls originating from our Elk Grove repair and refurbishment facility. We take this seriously and we are working closely with local law enforcement to investigate the cause and ensure this doesn’t continue,” related Apple in a statement to CBS Sacramento acknowledging the ordeal.

Apple did not elaborate how it will go about to curve these accidental calls.

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