“Late last week, Apple released more details about how (with certain opt-in settings) the Apple Watch Series 4 will contact emergency services if the watch detects that you’ve had a hard fall,” Cyrus Farivar writes for Ars Technica. “Before actually contacting first responders, the Apple Watch will try to give numerous urgent alerts: tapping the wearer on the wrist, sounding of a very loud alarm, and also displaying a visual alert.”
“If the Apple Watch detects that the wearer is ‘immobile for about a minute,’ it begins a 15-second countdown. After that, the Watch will contact emergency services, which often can use mobile phone data to locate the wearer,” Farivar writes. “(Apple says that the feature is automatically enabled for users who have entered their age into their profile and are over 65.)”
Farivar writes, “Elizabeth Joh, a law professor at the University of California, Davis, was quick to point out that, by inviting the police into your home, Apple Watch wearers may be opening themselves up to criminal liability.”
Consider: your watch (accidentally) alerts the police to check on you: 4th Amend. community caretaking exception means they can enter your home w/o a warrant. Plain view means they may seize contraband/evidence of a crime. Nice work, guys.
— Elizabeth Joh (@elizabeth_joh) September 12, 2018
“New York-based criminal-defense attorney Fred Jennings agreed with Joh,” Farivar writes. “He said that he would prefer if the wearer could automatically alert a relative or friend instead of the police.”
Exactly. Would much prefer a feature that can automatically dial a user-determined contact.
— Elastic Liability Balancer 💫⚖💾⛤☠ (@Esquiring) September 12, 2018
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: We agree with Jennings and would like to see Apple quickly add the option for users to enter their own preferred emergency contact instead of 911.