Larry Magid, freelance technology columnist of the San Jose Mercury News is photographed on Friday, Oct. 21, 2011 in San Jose. (Gary Reyes / Mercury News)

Smartphones have some very powerful tools, including the ability to track and share your location. That can be a life saver if you’re lost and can provide reassurance to loved-ones. Both iPhones and Android phones — as well as apps like Google Maps — have tools to

Larry Magid, freelance technology columnist of the San Jose Mercury News is photographed on Friday, Oct. 21, 2011 in San Jose. (Gary Reyes / Mercury News) Gary Reyes/Staff archives

enable you to share your location with specific people. It’s a handy way to know when someone is likely to arrive at a location and can be used to help locate someone in an emergency.

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Some people use this feature to share their location with trusted friends or family members when they go out on first dates or are in other situations where they think they might need emergency assistance.

But, if you’re in an abusive relationship, this safety tool can jeopardize your safety if your abuser has access to information that can locate you.

That’s why Apple, in cooperation with the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the National Center for Victims of Crime and the Women’s Service Network, has developed Safety Check for the next version of iOS – the operating system for iPhones and iPads.

“Many people share passwords and access to their devices with a partner,” said Katie Skinner, Apple’s senior manager of user privacy settings. But, she added, “in abusive relationships, this can threaten personal safety and make it harder for victims to get help.”

Of course, there have always been ways to turn off location sharing, but when you’re in an emergency situation, you want these to be quick and easy to access. With the new feature, you’ll be able to quickly perform an emergency reset to “immediately reset access for all people and apps, and review your account security.” Emergency reset, said Skinner, “lets people  in abusive situations quickly revoke an abuser’s access to their data and …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

      

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