India has decided that starting in 2017, all phones in the country must be sold with a panic button that lets users instantly alert emergency services. A year after that, all devices sold must also come with GPS as standard so that authorities can quickly locate victims of sexual assault.
According to India’s Economic Times, a long press on either the 5 or 9 button on a feature phone will be routed straight to police. From now on smartphones will have to provide an on-screen emergency button or enable a panic call to be placed.
It’s not just local manufacturers. This includes the big boys like Samsung and Apple. They will have to comply as well. This all began with the country’s telecoms minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad, who said that he made the decision to “help our women in distress.” You see, India is currently dealing with what some are calling a rape crisis. The number of reported violent sexual assaults in the country has gone up by almost 13,000 in the last five years. That does not count those that are not reported.
Prasad says that “technology is solely meant to make human life better, and what better than using it for the security of women.” This should help stop some of those assaults and hopefully it works the way they think it will.