A mandatory panic button on mobile phones that ship to India?

Fact: “India is a country where 4 rapes occur every hour.” 

Following the gang rape incident that happened in New Delhi, India an official notification dated April 22, said, “With effect from January 1, 2017, no mobile phone handset manufacturer shall sell in India feature phones without the facility of panic button”. Further it stated that “no smartphone should be sold in India without a way to activate an emergency call”. 

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also stated in a statement that “Technology is solely meant to make human life better and what better than using it for the security of women. From January 1, 2017, no cell phone can be sold without a provision for panic button and from January 1, 2018 mobile sets should have also GPS inbuilt”. 

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. In addition, smartphones will have to provide an on-screen emergency button or enable a panic call to be placed by, for instance pressing the sleep/wake button three times in succession. It’s not just the local manufacturers that will be forced to abide by the rule, but foreign companies like Apple, Samsung, Motorola etc will have to do the same.

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