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1 Author(s)

What's been the biggest change when it comes to personal security? Indisputably, the advent of the cellular phone. In daily life as well, whether reporting suspicious activity or touching base with the kids, more and more people rely on their wireless phones. Cellular service in the US has grown slowly and steadily, with subscribers increasing by 30 to 40 per cent a year. However, cellular callers can be at a disadvantage when dialing 911. The phone being mobile rules out a simple database relationship between phone number and location. This means that 911 calls made from wireless phones don't automatically reach the closest emergency service and that the response time can be far longer. In 1996, concerned policymakers responded with Enhanced 911 (E-911) legislation. Phase one of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) directive specified that by April 1998, wireless carriers had to be able to report a wireless 911 caller's telephone number and the receiving antenna's location. The article looks at some of the technical difficulties still encountered, people tracking devices, privacy, and smart card/wireless devices merger.

Published in:

Pervasive Computing, IEEE  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Oct.-Dec. 2002

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